Ronaldo likely to make his Al Nassr debut in friendly against Messi

The star forward has been suspended by the Football Association for knocking a phone out of the hand of a young supporter following Manchester United's defeat at Everton in April
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano RonaldoANI

RIYADH [SAUDI ARABIA]: Rudi Garcia, the coach of Al Nassr, has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo will make his debut for the Saudi Arabian club as part of an exhibition team in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which could pit him against Lionel Messi, reported Skysports.

The star forward has been suspended by the Football Association for knocking a phone out of the hand of a young supporter following Manchester United's defeat at Everton in April.

It has pushed back Ronaldo's much-anticipated debut, which is now expected to take place in a showcase match against PSG in Riyadh on January 19, complicating Garcia's domestic planning. "It won't be with the Al Nassr jersey.

It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr. As the coach of Al Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing. But we have a championship game three days later," Skysports quoted Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia as saying.

"In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it's not a big deal... We are in the lead, we are happy. It is a difficult championship to win, but we intend to do it," Garcia added.

Garcia has also stated that his task is to help Ronaldo rediscover his love for the game after a difficult year. "The only thing I want is for him to enjoy playing football again and smile. In recent months, between Manchester United, the national team and also at a private level, he has not had easy moments.

If he finds the pleasure of playing again, a good goal will be achieved," he said. Garcia compared Ronaldo's arrival in Saudi Arabia to Pele's game-changing partnership with the New York Cosmos in 1975, which sparked massive interest in football in the United States.

"It's a bit like Pele's arrival, especially for the development of football, sport and culture in Saudi Arabia," Garcia said.

"It's great. Great for us, for Al-Nassr. Great for Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo is more than a player. He is one of the best players in the world. It's amazing how much it's put a spotlight on our club. Now everyone knows where our club is around the world.

We must have gone from 800,000 to 10m [followers] in a few hours, a few days, because of Cristiano's arrival," the coach of Al Nassr said.

Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Related Stories

No stories found.
DT next
www.dtnext.in