Cristiano Ronaldo’s first home goal and ninth overall for Al Nassr came from a superb free-kick, 78 minutes into Saturday’s Saudi Pro League game. Ronaldo‘s long-range equaliser came after Abdulfattah Adam gave Abha a surprise lead midway through the first half.
It was a game full of twists and turns as Abha scored in the first half and it appeared that they would go on to script an incredible result, but Ronaldo had other plans. His spectacular free-kick in the 78th minute helped Al Nassr equalise, and five minutes later Talisca converted from the penalty spot to help the hosts take the lead and eventually win the game. With this victory, Al Nassr maintains second place in the league and is only one point behind league leaders Al Ittihad.
The Portugal international will now depart for international duty from his club Al Nassr. Ronaldo was named to Roberto Martinez’s first Portugal squad for the start of Euro 2024 qualifying and games against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
Ronaldo was left out of Santos’ starting lineup for Portugal’s knockout-phase games in Qatar, including the quarterfinal loss to Morocco. Ronaldo can add to his 118 international goals when Portugal faces Liechtenstein on March 23 and Luxembourg three days later in European Championship qualifiers.
Portugal will play Liechtenstein in Lisbon on March 23 before travelling to Luxembourg on March 26. Martinez said his first squad “is important because it is the starting point” for Euro 2024.
Ronaldo, whose international career began in an exhibition match against Kazakhstan in August 2003, holds the world record for men’s international goals with 118. His track record suggests that if he returns to the starting lineup, he will add to his tally in the next two games, at least against Luxembourg.
Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in December of last year, following a tussle with Premier League club Manchester United over his TV interview. He had blasted Premier League Club in a TV interview, saying he felt betrayed by them and that he does not respect club manager Erik ten Hag.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal
— F L Y N (@WabloWavii) March 18, 2023
Ronaldo scored and you’re still 10th ?
— Stewi? (@EskanalStewie) March 18, 2023
Messi can't do this
— Honest Pessi fan (@philipjonesgoat) March 18, 2023
— T (@CFCT_) March 18, 2023
Against shawarma makers and construction workers??????
— Culers Media (@lewyball) March 18, 2023
Is that goalkeeper even a professional goalkeeper or a constructor worker?
— RJ (@cfcR_J) March 18, 2023
That goalkeeping is questionable
— Himbo (@DNDplz_) March 18, 2023
The greatest there is. The greatest there was. The greatest there ever will be. ?
— Man United Latest (@TheUtdLatest) March 18, 2023
Lol that’s just a penalty for him mate . FREENALDO
— Sixtus (@BIGSIX_G) March 18, 2023
First Beatiful free kick in Saudi Arbia??
— Najmus Saqib?? (@Najmus_Saqib9) March 18, 2023