Comparing Ronaldo and Messi’s Trophies in Saudi and US As Al Nassr Crash Out in AFC Champions League

Comparing Ronaldo and Messi’s Trophies in Saudi and US As Al Nassr Crash Out in AFC Champions League

Joel Reyes
March 12, 2024 at 7:51 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Inter Miami CF logo
Club Internacional de Futbol Miami
United States
United States Major League Soccer logo
United States
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logo
Al-Hilal Saudi FC
Saudi Arabia
Arab Club Champions Cup logo
Leagues Cup logo
Leagues Cup
  • Al-Nassr crashed out of the AFC Champions League, losing to Al-Ain in the quarter-finals
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has won just one trophy with Al-Nassr since moving to Saudi Arabia last year
  • Lionel Messi also has won just one title with Inter Miami since moving to the United States

The AFC Champions League dream is over for Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr.

The Saudi club crashed out in the quarter-finals on Monday, losing to Al-Ain in a penalty shootout.

Sports Brief compares Ronaldo and Messi's trophies in Saudi Arabia and the United States following Al-Nassr's exit in AFC's showpiece event.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Al Nassr, Inter Miami, AFC Champions League, MLS, Leagues Cup, Arab Club Champions Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi celebrate after winning their first trophies with Al-Nassr and Inter Miami. Images: Yasser Bakhsh/ CHANDAN KHANNA.
Source: Getty Images

Ronaldo's trophy haul in Saudi Arabia

Ronaldo has won just one trophy with Al-Nassr since joining the Saudi Arabian side in January 2023.

Their lone triumph with the Portuguese star came in last year's Arab Club Champions Cup. Al-Nassr's first-ever win in the King Salman Club Cup wouldn't be possible without Ronaldo, who scored a total of six goals in the tournament.

Four of his six goals came in the knockout rounds. He saved the best for last in the final against Al-Hilal, scoring twice in Al-Nassr's 2-1 win.

Al-Hilal took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute thanks to a headed goal from Michael. There is no quit with Al-Nassr, though, who found an equaliser in the 74th minute through Ronaldo.

He diverted Sultan Al-Ghannam's low cross into the back of the net to score for a fifth straight game in the tournament.

The match went into extra time, where Ronaldo delivered another piece of magic. He gave Al-Nassr the lead in the 98th minute after heading home the rebound, which bounced off the crossbar.

Al-Nassr captured the title despite going down to 10 men in the second half following a red card by Nawaf Boushal.

Ronaldo's quest to add the AFC Champions League trophy to that title ended in disappointment on Monday after they lost to Al Ain in the quarter-finals.

Al-Nassr crashed out after losing to Al-Ain in a penalty shootout. They levelled the tie at 4-4 on aggregate after beating Al-Ain 4-3 in the second leg. They struggled in the shootout, though, losing 3-1 on spot-kicks, per Sports Illustrated.

Messi's trophy haul in USA

Like Ronaldo. Messi has also only won one trophy since moving to the United States. That came in the Leagues Cup, with Messi playing a starring role in Inter Miami's first-ever title win.

The Argentine star scored 10 goals in his first seven matches for the Herons, leading the club to the Leagues Cup title.

Messi dazzled in his debut, scoring a last-gasp free kick to give Inter Miami a 2-1 win over Cruz Azul. He then scored a double in his first start against Atlanta United before adding another brace in the win over Orlando City SC in the round of 32.

He registered another double in the round of 16 win over FC Dallas before firing a late strike against Charlotte FC in the quarters.

He then scored a long-range stunner against the Philadelphia Union in the semi-finals, helping the Herons book a spot in the final.

He saved the best for last in the championship match, opening the scoring against Nashville SC in the 23rd minute before converting one of the spot kicks in the penalty shootout.

Inter Miami went on to win 10-9 on penalties to give Messi his first-ever trophy on American soil.

Inter Miami struggle without Messi

Sports Brief recently reported on Inter Miami's recent struggles without Messi.

They have won just once in the nine matches they have played with Messi out of the lineup.

They recorded five losses and three draws during that stretch, including their recent defeat at the hands of CF Montreal.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.