On Friday, Al-Hilal achieved a 3-0 win against Al-Nassr in the Riyadh Derby.
Cristiano Ronaldo exited the field blowing kisses to the audience, amidst the jubilant cheers of “Messi, Messi!” from the thrilled Al-Hilal supporters. This came after their Saudi Pro League team secured a 3-0 victory over Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in the Riyadh Derby on Friday. Watch the video below.
Despite being on the losing side, with Aleksandar Mitrovic netting twice following Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s opener for Al-Hilal, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner continues to be the focal point in Saudi Arabian football, despite the chants from opposing fans referencing his long-standing rival of nearly two decades.
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s eventful Riyadh derby
As the 38-year-old prepared for the match, he received cheers from the thousands of away fans, many sporting No. 7 jerseys, and faced jeers from the home supporters.
Since the former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward made his move last December, Saudi soccer has undergone a significant transformation. Notably, fans of Al-Hilal, the most successful club in Saudi Arabia and Asia with 18 and four championships respectively, recognize the impact he has had at Al-Nassr, a club boasting nine domestic titles.
In the preceding 14 games of the league season, the ex-Real Madrid and Manchester United star showcased his scoring prowess by netting 15 goals, securing the top spot in the scoring charts. This remarkable performance contributed to Al Nassr, which also features former Liverpool star Sadio Mané, Croatia midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, and ex-Manchester United defender Alex Telles, moving into the second position in the league, trailing behind Al Hilal.
On the match day, Ronaldo pulled out all the stops. In the second half, as Al-Nassr trailed by a single goal, he powered a volley into the net, only for officials to narrowly rule it out for offside. Shortly after, he found himself on the ground in the Al Hilal penalty area, claiming an elbow incident. Even when Mitrovic scored Al Hilal’s second late in the game, Ronaldo continued to insist that he had been fouled in the buildup.