Cristiano Ronaldo (38), who played a multi-goal role, led his team Al-Nassr to their first Arab Club Champions Cup victory.
Ronaldo also lifted the trophy for the first time since advancing to Saudi Arabia’s professional soccer stage.
In the 2023 Arab Club Championship final against Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia) held at King Fahd Stadium in Taif, Saudi Arabia on the 13th (Korean time), Al-Nasr was trailing 0-1, but Ronaldo’s equalizer in the 29th minute drove the game into extra time. Ronaldo scored the winning goal in the 7th minute of the first half after extra time and succeeded in winning the match 2-1.스포츠토토
Ronaldo, who scored multiple goals in the final, signed a contract with Al Nasr until 2025 on December 31 of last year and tasted the joy of holding the championship trophy for the first time since his ‘surprising’ advancement to the stage of Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo was disappointed by finishing runner-up to Al Itihad in the 2022-2023 Saudi Pro League, but he paid for his name by leading the team’s first ever Arab Club Champions Cup victory after about 8 months of joining.
Ronaldo was the top scorer of the tournament with six goals.
Ronaldo, who won the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup top scorer
The Arab Club Champions Cup is a competition in which clubs from the Middle East and Africa participate. This year, 37 clubs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Morocco, and Algeria competed.
Al-Nassr stood up to Al-Hilal by placing Ronaldo as a front-line striker and appointing Sadio Mane, who recently transferred from Bayern Munich (Germany), as a second-line striker. Al-Hilal is a team that finished third in the Saudi Pro League last season, following Al-Itihad and Al-Nasr.
The opening goal went to Al-Hilal.
After the first half ended 0-0, Al-Hilal scored the first goal in the 9th minute of the second half when Malcolm’s cross from the left corner of the penalty area was finished with Michael’s header. After scoring, Michael stimulated Ronaldo by performing Ronaldo’s proprietary ‘heavy celebration’.
Al-Nasr, who gave up the lead, was sent off in the 26th minute of the second half due to an accumulation of warnings by Abdullerah Al-Amri, putting him even outnumbered.
However, in the 29th minute of the second half, Ronaldo, who was rapidly rushing to the front of the goalpost, changed the direction of Sultan Al Ghannam’s cross from the right flank with his right foot to turn the game around. Ronaldo scored five goals in a row in this tournament.
Ronaldo smiling wide holding the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup trophy
Ronaldo fired another goal in the 39th minute of the second half, but it was canceled due to an offside declaration, and Al Nasr ended the second half 1-1 and went into overtime.
The hero of extra time was Ronaldo.
In the 7th minute of the first half of extra time, when Saeko Popana’s right-footed shot from near the left side of the penalty area bounced off the crossbar, Ronaldo jumped right in front of the goal and scored with a header. Ronaldo’s header was the winning goal of the match.
Ronaldo collided with an opponent with five minutes left in the second half of overtime, fell down, complained of pain, and rode a cart off the ground and was substituted. However, he appeared at the awards ceremony with a bright face.
Meanwhile, Al-Nasr will play the opening game of the 2023-2024 season Saudi Professional League Round 1 against R.E.T.