Cristiano Ronaldo may have found some solace in Lionel Messi getting dumped out of the Champions League with PSG this week, but the name of his eternal rival still follows him around out in Saudi Arabia.
It’s been a frustrating week for Ronaldo. On Thursday night his Al Nassr side lost 1-0 to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Al-Ittihad, a result that saw Al-Ittihad move ahead of Ronaldo’s club at the summit of the Saudi Pro League.
To make matters worse, in the closing stages of Al Nasrr’s defeat, opposition fans attempted to wind Ronaldo up by chanting Messi’s name. Ronaldo bit back during a break in play, looking over to the fans and signalling in their direction a ‘keep talking’ hand gesture.
The 38-year-old icon kicked a bottle in anger as he trudged off the pitch in the wake of the defeat – as fans could be heard taunting the veteran goalscoring by chanting about Messi.
Ronaldo may not be playing at the top of the club game as he winds down his career, but even at this level the hunger to win trophies is evidently still there.
After the match, Ronaldo struck a more optimistic tone on social media.
“Disappointed with the result, but we stay focused on our season and the games ahead,” Ronaldo tweeted, alongside a flexing arm emoji.
“Thank you Al Nassr fans for your support, we know we can count on you!”
Meanwhile, league leaders Al-Ittihad trolled him by tweeting “Where is Ronaldo?” accompanied by a clip of one of their players tackling him.
Ronaldo has notched eight goals and two assists in eight appearances for Al Nassr following his unceremonious exit from Old Trafford earlier this season.
“I’m so proud to make this big decision in my life, in football. In Europe my work is done; I won everything, I played for the most important clubs in the world. And for me now it’s a new challenge in Asia,” Ronaldo said after signing for Al Nassr at the turn of the year.
“I’m thankful that Al Nassr gave me the opportunity to show and develop not only for football but also for young generations, for the women’s generation as well. For me it’s a challenge, but in the same way I feel very, very happy and very proud.”
The latest Messi chants follow jibes from a ballboy last week. The cheeky kid shouted “Messi is so much better” in Ronaldo’s direction as he walked down the tunnel – an unhappy-looking Ronaldo responded by mumbling something in Portuguese as he trudged towards the dressing room.
Al Nassr sit two points behind Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League title race. There are still 10 matches left to play, with the 2022-23 campaign set to conclude at the end of May.
Here’s our round-up of Ronaldo being trolled in a week to forget:
🎥 Ronaldo’s reaction to the fans chanting Lionel Messi’s name
— Barça Spaces (@BarcaSpaces) March 10, 2023
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) March 9, 2023
— Sports Today (@SportsTodayofc) March 5, 2023
Where is Ronaldo ? pic.twitter.com/hJ7zjE7dGb
— Ittihad Club (@ittihad_en) March 9, 2023