At 39, consistently scoring goals and engineering wins at Al Nassr remains Cristiano Ronaldo‘s top priority. Well, that is not his only concern. Ronaldo has been invested in spearheading the growth of Al Nassr as one of the top soccer clubs in the world. Per reports, he pioneered his Portuguese teammate Otavio’s $60 million deal behind the scenes. Besides Otavio, he is also responsible for bringing his 31-year-old former teammate Alex Telles to the Al Nassr project. Whereas, Telles’ departure left a void in Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United roster.

Alex Telles joined Al Nassr in the summer of 2023 for an $8 million+ per season deal. His contract runs until 2025. In a recent interview, the Brazilian international recalled the part Ronaldo played in completing his transfer.

Alex Telles couldn’t say no to Al Nassr after seeing Cristiano Ronaldo’s excitement!


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Alex Telles had a bumpy ride in Manchester United since his second year at the club in 2022. Thereafter, United loaned him to La Liga’s Sevilla. After a year in Spain, Telles and the Red Devils parted ways, terminating his contract, which ran till 2024. That is when Cristiano Ronaldo stepped in and showed the way to his ex-teammate. Before I agreed to the Al Nassr offer, Cristiano Ronaldo sent me a message and told me about the club and that he was excited for me to accept the offer, and I immediately agreed,” said Alex Telles in a recent interview.

Months after joining Al Nassr, Alex Telles contracted an injury and was left out of action for a few games. That aside, he has been an irreplaceable presence in the Knights of Najd’s defense. Being a left full-back, the 31-year-old has time and again shown his versatility at the Riyadh club, tallying two goals and three assists, this season. Meanwhile, in Manchester United, Telles might have had a bumpy ride, but Erik ten Hag is now regretting the void left in his team’s defense.


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Erik ten Hag blames his lackluster run on the absence of a left-back after Telles’ departure

As of now, a Top 4 finish in the Premier League table seems a distant dream for Erik ten Hag and Co. Aggravating their fall, Manchester United lost 1-2 against Fulham last night, thanks to Fulham’s clutch display. Speaking of the loss, ten Hag highlighted how the team’s growing injury list cost them. The team played without veteran left-back Luke Shaw who is nursing an injury. “We don’t have a left full-back,” complained Erik ten Hag after the defeat.


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The Dutch manager had to use Victor Lindelof in the left-back position. Notably, Lindelof traditionally plays as a center-back. Had Telles been there at Old Trafford, ten Hag could have depended on him, instead of switching a central defender to the left flank. Manchester United now sits sixth in the Premier League table, eight points shy of the fourth-seeded Aston Villa.

Written by

Krishna Prasad M


One take at a time

Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by

Daniel D'Cruz