Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s Support, 2 Al Nassr Stars Banned For 3 Months: Reports

Published 02/08/2024, 11:29 PM EST

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via Reuters

More bad news for Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr! They again ended on the wrong side against Al Hilal, losing the coveted Riyadh Season Cup 2-0. Aggravating Al Nassr’s reputation, two of their star players reportedly have received a fresh three-month ban from participating in the Saudi Arabia National Team’s games. This comes after the upper management investigated the players’ absence from the team in the AFC Asian Cup. For those who aren’t aware, this saga has been going on under the radar for weeks!

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CR7’s Al Nassr teammates, Sultan Al-Ghannam and goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi allegedly denied representing Saudi NT in the AFC Asian Cup. Their absence cost Roberto Mancini’s side, as South Korea knocked them out in the tournament’s RO16. After that, the board investigated Sultan Al-Ghannam’s absence. Meanwhile, the authorities reportedly excluded Nawaf Alaqidi from the investigation, citing he participated in the NT’s training camps.

However, per the latest reports, Al-Ghannam and Alaqidi have been excluded from Roberto Mancini’s side for three months! Hence, they will probably miss the Saudi team’s World Cup qualifier matches against Tajikistan in March.

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When the debacle had gathered full momentum, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped in to give his verdict, despite it having no connection to Al Nassr. “This time we must stop with the duo Sultan Al-Ghannam and Nawaf Al-Aqidi in light of the current crisis,” he reportedly said. Besides the Al Nassr stars, Al Hilal’s Salman Al-Faraj was also absent from Saudi NT’s outings. It is yet to be learned if Al-Faraj is facing the same plight. While the NT ban of these two players is a blow to Al Nassr’s image, the club’s consistent inability to thrive against Al Hilal remains a bigger woe for fans.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. maintain their unwanted run against Al Hilal

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Cristiano Ronaldo quashed all his calf injury woes to start for the Knights of Najd in the Riyadh derby. Moreover, he surprisingly completed more than 90 minutes of the game. However, the superstar failed to make an impact. He misfired and ended up picking a yellow card while playing a lost battle. Luis Castro brought on Sadio Mane from the bench to galvanize Al Nassr’s misfiring frontline. Nevertheless, it still remained a misfiring frontline.

This marks Al Nassr’s 2nd straight loss against Al Hilal in the ongoing season. Besides, CR7’s side has won only once against their domestic rivals in their last 6 meetings. Even in the Saudi League table, Castro’s side plays second fiddle to Al Hilal, which tops the table, seven points clear. The two Riyadh sides will meet again in a league tie on May 17.

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That will be the only chance left in the season for Ronaldo and Co. to buck the trend of consistently losing against his domestic rivals.

WATCH THIS STORY: Cristiano Jr’s Insane Training Schedule

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

733Articles

One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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