‘It changed the course of the match’: Al-Nassr boss blames Cristiano Ronaldo for Saudi Super Cup exit


Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr team lost to Al Ittihad 3-1 in the Semi-Finals of the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday in Riyadh. His manager Rudi Garcia believes that the Portuguese’s first-half error was a game-changer.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr were knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup after a 3-1 defeat against Al-Ittihad in Thursday’s semi-final in Riyadh. Al Ittihad’s defense did a good job keeping the 37-year-old Portugal international at bay for most of the match.

Anderson Talisca’s 67th-minute goal for Al Nassr was not enough to overcome a two-goal deficit created by Romarinho and Abderrazak Hamdallah for Rudi Garcia’s side in the first half. Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti scored the winning goal with three minutes left in extra time.

It was a frustrating evening for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as he missed further opportunities to get on the scoresheet. Things couldn’t have been much worse for Ronaldo as he was seen limping off the pitch. Hamdan Al-Shamrani left the 37-year-old veteran writhing on the ground in pain and Al-Nassr will be concerned about the extent of the damage done to their new star.

Al-Nassr manager points finger of blame at Cristiano Ronaldo after Saudi Super Cup exit

To make matters worse, Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia was left lamenting his team’s failure to capitalize on their first-half opportunities, going so far as to criticize Cristiano Ronaldo for wasting a golden opportunity.

“One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano’s missed opportunity in the first half. I congratulate Al-Ittihad. They presented a much better first half than us, and we played a good second half, but unfortunately, we were not able to adjust the result. It’s true that we regret losing the Super Cup, but we are still the first in the league”, he said after the game.

As Ronaldo walked off the field, Al-Ittihad supporters chanted the name of his legendary adversary, Lionel Messi, taunting him the whole time. Garcia’s stern judgment was the icing on the cake for a dreadful evening. What is more, after scoring for Al-Ittihad in the first half, striker Abderrazak Hamdallah mocked the former Manchester United star by imitating one of Messi’s most recognizable goal celebrations.