Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed a near-perfect night for Al-Nassr with a match-winning goal and a cheeky assist

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The Saudi Pro League has garnered increased attention and interest with the arrival of numerous top players.

Notable names such as Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, and others have transitioned from European football to the Middle East, bringing their fan bases with them.

Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the first high-profile players to make this move, leaving Manchester United for Saudi club Al-Nassr after a significant falling out. He explained his decision to join Al-Nassr at the time.

“In Europe, my work is done; I won everything, I played at the most important clubs in Europe and for me now, it’s a new challenge. This is a great opportunity. Nobody knows this but I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, in the US and even in Portugal. Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club to develop not only the football but other parts of this amazing country.”

Now, with eight games into the current season, there’s a good chance that Cristiano Ronaldo feels his decision has been justified. He has been joined by some familiar names in his new footballing environment, sharing the pitch with players like Sadio Mané, Aymeric Laporte, Alex Telles, Marcelo Brozovic, and Seko Fofana.

In a recent club match against Al-Tai FC, Al-Nassr emerged victorious, securing all three points. Ronaldo’s presence in the Saudi Pro League has added a significant level of excitement and attention to the competition.

It was, however, a rather eventful night for the 38-year-old striker – but in a good way. Indeed, the Portuguese international played a very clever assist to set his team on their way after 32 minutes. Under pressure, he cutely flicked the ball over the opposition defender’s leg, putting teammate Talisca through on goal. The Brazilian made no mistake with a very tidy finish.

Just ten minutes later, Ronaldo must have been thinking nearly everything he touched was turning to gold as he looked to have claimed another audacious assist. This time, he controlled the ball on his chest before pulling off a bicycle kick. The ball flew towards the far post and Talisca again reacted quickest to score. Unfortunately, though, the flag went up for offside on this occasion.

With that goal ruled out, Al-Tai eventually fought their way back into the game and it seemed as though they had rescued a point when Virgil Misidjan made it 1-1 in the 79th minute. But it was to be Ronaldo’s night as he later had the opportunity to score from 12 yards after a handball. Stepping up with just four minutes to play (not including injury time), the former Real Madrid star showed characteristic composure to blast home a winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent goal makes him the first Saudi Pro League player to score 10 goals in the competition this season. He is currently leading the goal-scoring charts by a significant margin, with former Barcelona player Malcom, who now plays for Al-Hilal, in second place with six goals. This achievement also marks Ronaldo’s 18th consecutive season of reaching double figures in league goals, a remarkable testament to his consistency and goal-scoring prowess.

The vital win helped send Al-Nassr up to third in the league, now just one point behind both of the teams ahead of them. It certainly was a great night for Ronaldo and he really seemed to be embracing the moment when footage after the game caught him with a big grin on his face, winking to the camera and clapping in unison with his teammates in a show of appreciation for the fans.

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