- 20 March
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Ronaldo gets blame for Al-Nassr loss as fans mock him with Messi chant
Cristiano Ronaldo found himself singled out by Al-Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia after a 3-1 defeat to Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup.
The Thursday fixture was just Ronaldo’s second for his new club, having departed Manchester United by mutual consent in November following a spectacular interview in which he attacked the club and claimed that he had been “disrespected”.
After drawing a blank in his opening fixture for Al-Nassr in a 1-0 Saudi Super League success last week, he once again came up short in front of goal in the Super Cup – and this time it was to be costly to his side.
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“One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano's missed opportunity in the first half,” former Lyon and Roma boss Garcia said of his new captain.
At that point, the game was still in the balance, with Al-Ittihad leading 1-0 but they would add a second on the stroke of half-time. Although Anderson Talisca pulled one back for Al-Nassr, the Brazilian’s second in as many matches that Ronaldo has played, the match was settled by a late third.
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Ronaldo targeted by Messi chants
Opposition fans chanting "Messi, Messi" as Ronaldo is dumped out of the Saudi Super Cup 💀pic.twitter.com/laa9mSBuj0— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) January 27, 2023
To make matters worse for Ronaldo, he was the subject of mocking from the Al-Ittihad fans, who targeted him with ‘Messi, Messi’ chants.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner might have hoped to escape his long-standing rivalry with the Argentine great when he moved to Saudi Arabia – not least because Messi led his country to World Cup glory at Qatar 2022 – but it appears that will not be the case.
Meanwhile, there are also questions as to just how great Ronaldo’s draw now is. After his Al-Nassr debut was only their third highest attendance of the season, the crowd was again a disappointing one as he made his Super Cup bow.