Those who prematurely believed that Cristiano Ronaldo’s career had come to an end following his move to Saudi Arabia are now left feeling embarrassed after witnessing his recent outstanding performance.
Ronaldo concluded his 20-year European playing career by joining Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr in December.
This five-time Ballon d’Or recipient garnered attention for becoming the highest-paid player globally, although he has since been surpassed in this aspect by Neymar, who recently signed with Al-Hilal after his time at Barcelona.
While many might not have anticipated Ronaldo making a significant impact with his performances, he has been resolute in proving that he remains one of the elite players in the sport.
Al-Nassr came close to clinching the Saudi Pro League title last season, falling just short. However, in the current term, Ronaldo has already added the Arab Club Champions Cup trophy to his collection of honors.
Despite significant acquisitions such as Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Otavio, Seko Fofana, and Aymeric Laporte during the summer, Ronaldo’s team initially faced two losses at the beginning of the current season.
Nevertheless, the tide seems to be turning as Ronaldo’s exceptional performance led his team to a commanding 5-0 victory against Al Fateh on Friday, during which he secured a hat-trick.
The 38-year-old initiated his impressive display by executing a remarkable backheel assist that contributed to Mane’s opening goal in the first half.
Three goals, one assist.
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 25, 2023
Ten minutes later, Ronaldo showcased a display of vintage ability as he executed his trademark leap to head the ball into the net, securing Al-Nassr’s second goal.
The former star of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus then proceeded to notch two tap-in goals in the second half, sealing his hat-trick and Al-Nassr’s inaugural league victory of the season.
Notably, Ronaldo’s performance extended beyond his goal-scoring feats. He exhibited a commendable all-around performance, completing 30 of 32 attempted passes and creating three scoring opportunities for his teammates.
These three goals mark CR7’s first contributions to the league campaign, elevating him to the second spot in the league’s top scorers list.
Only Al-Ittihad striker Abderrazak Hamdallah has outdone him, having found the net on four occasions this season.
With Ronaldo rediscovering his scoring prowess, he aims to lead his team to an improved standing on the league table after a challenging commencement.
As it stands, Al-Nassr currently ranks tenth in the standings, having garnered three points from three matches. They are six points adrift of the league leaders, Al-Ittihad.