RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo made his much-awaited Al Nassr debut, but failed to score as his new team defeated Al-Ettifaq 1-0 in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday.
In his debut game in Riyadh, Ronaldo played the entire 90 minutes and kept the crowd engaged. Brazilian forward Anderson Talisca gave Al-Nassr the lead shortly after the halfway point.
Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem sent in a cross that Ronaldo rushed into the box to try to meet, but it sailed over his head and was met by Talisca, who was able to score. A few minutes later, Ronaldo lined up a free kick outside the area and had a great chance, but his shot went high and wide.
The second half saw the 37-year-old race the ball down to the byline and fire in a threatening cross, but the resulting shot missed the mark.
Ronaldo signed a 2-1/2 year deal with Al Nassr last month, reported to be worth over 200 million euros ($216.28 million), but has had to wait to play because of a two-match ban by England's FA for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand in April. Expectations for his debut were sky-high after his brace against Paris St Germain in a friendly on Thursday, but despite showcasing plenty of endeavour against Al Ettifaq, the 37-year-old was unable to add to his tally of more than 800 senior goals overall for club and country.
Named the captain ahead of the match, Ronaldo was full of running and had a couple of bright moments, but mostly cut a lonely figure up front as his new team mates appeared to be on a different wavelength and rarely picked him out.
Also Read: Haroon Rashid appointed as new chief selector of Pakistan men's team