October 3, 2023

Al Nassr manager Rudi Garcia has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo’s failure to take a goalscoring opportunity in the first half of Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Al Ittihad played a major part in the team’s defeat.

In what was his second appearance for the club, Ronaldo failed to find the back of the net with a good chance in the first 45 minutes and would go on to play a rather underwhelming role as his side were dumped out of the Saudi Super Cup.

“One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano’s missed opportunity in the first half,” Garcia told the media after the game.

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Ronaldo, who limped off injured at the end of the game after appearing to roll his ankle, was the target of regular taunting from the opposition fans throughout the game, with constant chants of ‘Messi, Messi, Messi’ being directed at the former Manchester United forward.

Al Ittihad striker Abderrazak Hamdallah also appeared to get in on the jibes with his goal celebration. The Morocco international removed his shirt and held it aloft to the crowd, reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s famous move when he scored the winner against Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in a 2017 Clasico.

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