With Cristiano Ronaldo making his debut for Al Nasr, fans were sent into a frenzy as the former Manchester United forward was in vintage form at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh. The Portugal captain failed to score but certainly made a mark on his debut, which saw Talisca score a first-half goal as Al-Nasr secured a 1-0 win over Ettifaq. The midfielder headed home the winner in the 31st minute after Abdulmajid Al Sulaihim’s cross was too high for Ronaldo. The result helped Al-Nasr climb to the top of the table, one point ahead of second-placed Al Hilal.
Ronaldo initially made his debut in Saudi Arabia on Thursday last week, when PSG faced a Saudi All-Star XI that included players from Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr. PSG won the match with a 5-4 scoreline, but Ronaldo grabbed a brace for his team in the first half. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi also scored the opening goal for his side. The two exchanged hugs and smiles in what might be their last game against each other.
But now it seems that Messi could follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps with Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) general secretary Ibrahim Al Qasim looking ahead to a potential transfer for the Argentina captain. The attacker has yet to sign a contract extension with PSG. According to reports, Al Ittihad and Al Hilal are also interested in his signature.
“At the moment we don’t know anything about the possible arrival of Lionel Messi. Although I won’t hide it, as the Saudi federation, we would like to have him in the domestic league one day,” Al-Aksem told Marca. “
“The idea of the federation is always to improve our football, and of course we would like to see Cristiano and Messi in the same league again, but the truth is that we don’t know anything yet,” he added.
Messi’s contract expires in the summer and if he leaves, he will aim to win the UEFA Champions League with Ligue 1. He also led Argentina to the World Cup in Qatar last year, something Ronaldo could not do. Portugal crashed out of the quarter-finals with Ronaldo coming off the bench for the last two games.
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