Cristiano Ronaldo could lift his first silverware for Al-Nassr on Sunday – just three games into his career in Saudi Arabia
The Portuguese forward could be winning the Saudi Super Cup in three days time, but still has a semi-final to play first
Cristiano Ronaldo has the opportunity to win his first trophy playing in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, with the Saudi Super Cup up for grabs at the King Fahd International Stadium.
First, though, Ronaldo and his Al-Nassr side will have to beat Al-Ittihad on Thursday night in the semi-final of the cup in order to reach the final, with the winner facing either Al Hilal or Al-Fayha.
Founded just a decade ago, the Saudi Super Cup is contested by four teams: the winners and runners-up of the King Cup and Pro League from the previous season.
Al-Hilal and Al-Fayha reached the final of the King Cup in 2022, with the latter side winning the trophy - the equivalent of the FA Cup in England. Al-Ittihad, meanwhile, finished second in the Saudi Pro League last season, confirming their progression to the Saudi Super Cup.
However, because Al-Hilal won the Saudi Pro League and reached the final of the King Cup, the team placed third in the league, Al-Nassr, were therefore entered into the Saudi Super Cup, providing Cristiano Ronaldo the opportunity to lift his first piece of silverware in the Middle East after just three games.
On his debut for Al-Nassr, Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes as he helped the side beat Ettifaq 1-0. He didn’t score, though, something he managed in his first game on his return to Manchester United less than 18 months ago.
The Portuguese forward did score twice for a Ryiadh All-Star XI against Lionel Messi’s PSG, though, in an entertaining exhibition game that finished 5-4 to PSG. Despite not being his debut for Al-Nassr, the game was Ronaldo’s first while being contracted to the club.
He has endured a slightly tumultuous beginning to life in Saudi Arabia since signing for Al-Nassr at the start of the month.
Indeed, an FA-imposed ban of two games for knocking the phone out of a young Everton fan’s hand at Goodison Park last season carried over to the first two games of his career in Saudi Arabia, meaning he had to wait until January 22 before making his debut, as he missed two matches for Al-Nassr.
Winning a trophy so soon into his time at the club would no doubt be of great significance for the 37-year-old, though.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.