Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved his worth by scoring a late equalizer for Al Nassr in their match against Zamalek in the Arab Club Champions Cup. With Al Nassr trailing, Ronaldo’s header in the 87th minute secured a draw for his team in Group C. This goal marked his 840th career goal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as it ensured Al Nassr’s progression to the knockout stage of the competition.
Sadio Mane, who recently joined Al Nassr from Bayern Munich, made his debut in the second half but couldn’t have the same impact as his illustrious teammate Ronaldo. The loss to Zamalek would have eliminated Al Nassr from the competition, making Ronaldo’s goal even more crucial.
Zamalek took the lead through Ahmed Sayed’s penalty early in the second half. However, with time running out, a well-placed cross found Ghislan Konan, who then set up Ronaldo to score his 840th career goal. Without celebrating, the 37-year-old quickly retrieved the ball, hoping to find a winner. Nevertheless, a draw was enough to secure Al Nassr’s passage to the knockout stage.
Al Nassr finished second in Group C with five points, one point ahead of Zamalek, thanks to Ronaldo’s goal. Mane’s debut was overshadowed by Ronaldo’s heroics, but he will surely have more opportunities to make an impact in the future.
Ronaldo’s impressive start to the season includes two goals in three appearances. It’s worth noting that the Saudi campaign started earlier than its European counterparts. Since joining Al Nassr last season, Ronaldo has made an immediate impact, scoring 16 goals in 22 games. In 2023 alone, he has scored 21 goals in 26 matches across all competitions.
Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr has also paved the way for other high-profile players to join the Saudi Pro League. Players like Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have followed in his footsteps. Furthermore, Ronaldo will soon be partnering with Mane up front, once the former Liverpool star is fully fit. Al Nassr has also made other notable signings, including Alex Telles from Manchester United, as well as Seko Fofana and Marcelo Brozovic.
Overall, Ronaldo’s impact on Al Nassr and the Saudi Pro League cannot be understated. His goals and presence have elevated the league’s profile and attracted other top players to join.
On Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged Sadio Mane’s long-awaited debut for the Al Nassr Football Club, scoring a crucial goal against America de Cali in the Spanish Super Cup. The goal not only overshadowed Mane’s debut, but also allowed Ronaldo to tally impressive stats that significantly furthered his career.
Ronaldo’s goal in the 77th minute was also his first for the Al Nassr Football Club, making him the 9th-fastest footballer of all time to reach the 500-goal milestone. The goal put Al Nassr in the lead once more, as the current La Liga champions had previously fallen behind 2–1 earlier in the game.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner achieved this impressive feat despite Sadio Mane stealing the show after making his much-anticipated debut for the club. Though the Senegal international failed to open his account early on in the game, he put in an impressive performance and created numerous chances, proving his worth as one of the most gifted forwards of today.
Ultimately, the two superstars’ performances resulted in Al Nassr’s 3-2 victory, further solidifying Ronaldo’s impressive career stats and making him only the sixth player in history to score 500 goals.
Despite Mane’s impressive performance, it was Ronaldo who stole the show on Wednesday, thanks to his 500th career goal. With Al Nassr predicted to be a strong candidate for the Spanish Super Cup title this season, Ronaldo’s goal may prove crucial to their title aspirations.