Cristiano Ronaldo produces moment of magic as Al Nassr put Al Akhdoud to the swordFootball
Cristiano Ronaldo: What Al Nassr Coach Said About Portuguese Superstar Before Heavy Loss to Al Hilal
- Cristiano Ronaldo received high praise from Al-Nassr head coach Luis Castro
- The 38-year-old has been in scorching form since the start of the 2023-2024 campaign
- Despite his hot form, Ronaldo could not help his side avoid defeat against Al-Hilal
Cristiano Ronaldo garnered immense praise from Al-Nassr manager Luis Castro before their disheartening loss to Al-Hilal in the Riyadh Derby.
Leading up to the match on December 1, Al-Nassr had maintained an impressive unbeaten streak of 20 games since their defeat against Al-Taawoun in August.
However, the Knights of Najd faced a significant setback, suffering a 3-0 defeat against the 18-time Saudi champions and league leaders, Al-Hilal.
Al-Hilal down Al-Nassr in style
A blistering header from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and a brace from the in-form striker Aleksandar Mitrovic shattered Luis Castro's squad, compounded by a series of contentious decisions that left Al-Nassr feeling hard done by.
The league's top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, had a powerful left-footed strike disallowed after a VAR review, and the referee waved off several penalty appeals, per Fan Nation.
A victory for Ronaldo's Al-Nassr team would have closed the gap between them and the league leaders by just one point.
However, the defeat now extends the difference between second-placed Al-Nassr and table-toppers Al-Hilal to a significant seven points.
Al-Nassr boss singles Ronaldo out for praise
Before the match, Luis Castro, Nassr's head coach, had lauded Ronaldo, hailing him as the quintessential role model for numerous footballers.
“A lot of players want to be like Cristiano Ronaldo, but only a few want to work like Cristiano Ronaldo. He is an example of ambition, rigour and discipline," he said as quoted by TimelineCR7.
The 61-year-old tactician also added: "Al Nassr is lucky to have Cristiano [Ronaldo].”
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Castro backs Al-Nassr to challenge SPL
Sports Brief also reported that Luis Castro remains resolute about Al-Nassr's championship ambitions despite their recent loss to Al-Hilal in the Riyadh Derby on December 2.
Castro maintains a firm belief in his team's capability to contend for the championship. Addressing reporters post-match, the 61-year-old boldly asserted, “The league isn't decided yet.”
While expressing confidence in their title aspirations, the former Shakhtar Donetsk manager subtly criticized the match officials, implying that their decisions unfairly impacted his team.