What Ronaldo Said to Mane, Al Nassr Stars After Reaching AFC Champions League Knockout Stage

What Ronaldo Said to Mane, Al Nassr Stars After Reaching AFC Champions League Knockout Stage

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at November 28, 2023 at 7:50 AM
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Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
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S. Mané
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  • Al-Nassr booked their spot in the next round of the Asian Champions League with one game to spare
  • The Knights of Najd played out to a goalless draw with Iranian club Persepolis
  • Ronaldo was in good spirits after his side booked a spot in the knockout round

Cristiano Ronaldo commended his teammates following Al-Nassr's qualification to the round of 16 in the 2023-24 AFC Champions League campaign.

Ronaldo's Al-Nassr, boasting a flawless record with four wins from as many games, clashed with Iranian club Persepolis, whom they previously defeated 2-0 in the first leg two months ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Persepolis, Al-Nassr, AFC Champions League, knockout
Cristiano Ronaldo pat his teammates on the back after sealing their spot in the next round of the AFC Champions League. Photo credit: @AlNassrFC_EN
Source: Twitter

Al-Nassr share the spoils with Persepolis

The Knights of Najd began the match on an assertive note at the Al-Awwal Park, initially securing an early penalty that was subsequently overturned after consultation, setting the tone for an eventful evening.

However, their fortunes took a turn when defender Ali Lajami received a red card after just 17 minutes. Reduced to ten men, Luis Castro's squad focused on defensive resilience against a pressing Persepolis.

The Iranians believed they had broken the deadlock seven minutes into the second half through forward Shahab Zahedi, but VAR intervention disallowed the goal due to offside.

Ronaldo, Al-Nassr's talisman, came close to scoring shortly after with a deft move, narrowly missing the target.

However, he was substituted in the 77th minute after an injury to his neck sustained during a challenge with the Persepolis goalkeeper.

Al-Nassr seal early qualification

Despite Cristiano's absence, Al-Nassr maintained their resolve, securing their place in the knockout stage with a goalless draw, Sportstar reports.

This result ensured the 2023 Arab Cup champions clinched the top spot in Group E, joining Al Ain (United Arab Emirates), Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), and Pohang Steelers (South Korea) in booking early qualification.

After the game, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus star expressed his appreciation for his teammates' efforts on social media, acknowledging their commendable performance, per GOAL.

"Happy that we qualified 1st in our group and to have achieved 20 games unbeaten. Great Teamwork," he wrote on X (formerly called Twitter).

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Fans praise Ronaldo's honesty in penalty incident

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that football fans flooded social media to commend Cristiano Ronaldo's exemplary sportsmanship during Al-Nassr's clash against Persepolis in the Asian Champions League.

Ronaldo's gesture of fairness earned widespread praise from fans, many taking the opportunity to contrast his sportsmanship with that of his rival, Lionel Messi.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.