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As $38M Star Misses Out, Is Cristiano Ronaldo Available for Al Ain vs Al Nassr After Saudi League Ban?

Published Mar 3, 2024 | 12:21 PM EST

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Every step from here will be a well-thought-out one from Al Nassr. With a dream to achieve the best club title in Asia, the team has undergone a huge makeover in terms of its squad. Most of the high-profile signings have played an important role in their successful season so far. But now that they have reached a crucial stage, one such player will miss Al Nassr’s first leg of the quarterfinal against Al Ain in the AFC Champions League. More importantly, is their key player, Cristiano Ronaldo, available?

Things could have been worse for the Knights of Najd if the Portuguese captain had been penalized for more games due to the offense caused to Al Shabab’s fans. But the star has served his one-game ban and has traveled to the UAE for the game on Monday. However, the Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has been left out of Luis Castro’s team.

Al Nassr will go into tomorrow’s game after they dropped unnecessary points in the Saudi League. CR7’s presence was missed, as Al Nassr had quite a few attempts missed. Meanwhile, Brozovic has been pivotal in the club’s midfield since arriving from Inter Milan for a deal of $38 million per year. Even though the Riyadh-based team was not tested much in the Asian competition, Brzovic’s assist in the round of 16 won them the first leg.

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Yet Casto chose to sideline the star for the fixture, which could be interesting to see. Additionally, the curiosity of who will take his position tomorrow is a question. There were occasions where Abdulmajeed Al-Sulayhim was used in the central midfield and could be used as an option.

On the other hand, the club has received a boost with its keeper David Ospina returning from a hamstring injury in February. The club is also suffering from injuries to two of their keepers. Nevertheless, the club is expected to do well both in attack and defense.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to take Al Nassr through retirement talks

Already scoring 54 goals in 2023, Cristiano Ronaldo started 2024 with 4 goals in the 4 games he played. Al Nassr could just be on their way to glory if the talisman continues the same way. Making a statement that he’s not finished yet, the player is on a mission to win many trophies.

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On the other hand, CR7’s partner, Georgina Rodriguez, could have hinted about his retirement at Paris Fashion Week. She was heard saying, “Cristiano, one more year, then it’s over. Maybe two, I don’t know.” keeping the fans guessing about his future. Nonetheless, Ronaldo would be determined to see Al Nassr lift their first AFC Champions League title.

Written by:

Ruthu

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Ruthu is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Growing up in a sporting background, he found a passion for soccer through the remarkable 2002 World Cup-winning Brazilian team. Ruthu brings an out-of-the-box perspective with writing, as he possesses the ability to view the game from different critical angles, a skill that sets apart a sports journalist.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal