Cristiano Ronaldo: Saudi League leaders Al Hilal boss opens up on why Ronaldo joined Al NassrFootball
Al Nassr Manager Luis Castro Makes Bold Claim About Saudi League After Crashing Defeat to Al Hilal
- Al-Nassr coach Luis Castro believes the title race is not "over yet" after his side's defeat to Al-Hilal
- Hilal inflicted a third defeat of the Saudi League season on their local rivals in the Riyadh Derby
- Castro and his charges will hope to return to winning ways against Istiqlol Dushanbe in the AFC CL
Luis Castro remains resolute about Al-Nassr's championship aspirations despite their defeat to Al-Hilal in the Riyadh Derby on December 2.
The Portuguese manager, overseeing an impressive 20-game unbeaten streak across various competitions, faced a crushing end to their stellar run against local rivals Al-Hilal.
The tempestuous match at the King Fahd International Stadium saw Al-Nassr succumb to a 3-0 loss against the Blue Waves.
According to GOAL, a sublime header from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and a brace by former Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed the victory for the home team.
With this defeat, Al-Nassr now trails leaders Al-Hilal by seven points after 15 games in the Saudi Pro League, dimming their hopes for a tenth league title.
However, despite the setback, Luis Castro remains firmly convinced that his team can still contend for the championship.
Speaking to reporters after his side's humbling loss, the 61-year-old boldly claimed, “The league is not over yet,” as cited by The Nassr Zone.
While expressing confidence in his team's title prospects, the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk manager took a dig at the match officials, suggesting that he believed his team had been unfairly affected by their decisions.
“There were two penalty kicks that were not awarded for Al Nassr, and Al Hilal’s second goal was incorrect.“
He continued: “The same goal for Al Hilal against Al Ittihad in the Arab Championship was also counted today for them. Is it normal for the striker to push our player and score a goal and the referee does not see it again?”
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Luis Castro protests Ronaldo's disallowed goal
Sports Brief also reported that Al-Nassr manager Luis Castro employed an unconventional strategy to dispute Cristiano Ronaldo's disallowed goal against Al-Hilal during the Riyadh Derby.
After Sadio Mane delivered a precise cross to Ronaldo, resulting in a left-footed equalizer, the assistant referee flagged it as offside, abruptly halting the celebration.
Seeking to contest the decision, Castro approached the referee, arguing against the offside call, vouching for Ronaldo's positioning during the goal-scoring play.