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As Al Nassr gears up for a crucial AFC Champions League game against Al Duhail, a disappointing update struck. The team’s boss, Luis Castro, dropped Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad for the game. The 38-year-old superstar, mainstay of the Saudi side, will miss the game due to fatigue.

The decision raised many eyebrows. And Al Nassr’s boss has asked the media and fans to respect his decision. Moreover, Castro also detailed the reason for dropping Cristiano Ronaldo, as crucial games are on their way for Al Nassr, who have been striving for the league title for the last five years.

Luis Castro unhappy with media over Cristiano Ronaldo decision


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Ronaldo is in the form of his life, and that too at 38. The Portuguese captain is a top scorer and assists provider in the Saudi Pro League. Moreover, the fan enthusiasm to see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is undeniable. However, fatigue caught up with the former Real Madrid superstar, and Castro had to drop him.

Responding to the criticism of his decision, angry Castro said, “I respect the media, but you have to show respect to me. I did not wake up and decide to rest Cristiano Ronaldo. He played 210 minutes in four days and his body showed that he was not ready for the Al-Duhail match.”


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The Al-Duhail game will be the return leg of the AFC Champions League group stage. Earlier, Al Nassr beat the Qatari side 4-3 as Ronaldo bagged a crucial brace to give all three points to Al Alami. However, Ronaldo is not the only absentee for the Saudi side.

READ MORE: ‘Most Exposed’ to Refereeing Errors, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Taken as Example to Question Officiating


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Al Nassr without five other stars

Apart from CR7, Luis Castro has dropped five more players from the Qatar trip. Aymeric Laporte, Abdullah Al-Khaibari, Nawaf Boushal, Raghed Al-Najjar, and Abdulaziz Al-Eliwa won’t be traveling with the squad for the game. The reason for dropping the six players is strategic, as the Riyad-based club wants to avoid the injuries.

In the absence of Ronaldo, fans will hope for Sadio Mane and Anderson Talisca to step up. The two are in scintillating form, and Al Nassr can still hope for three points without Cristiano Ronaldo.


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It will be interesting to see how Al Nassr responds to CR7’s absence. Can Al Duhail pull off a victory?

Written by

Nikhil Nibe


One take at a time

Nikhil is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports, having written over 450 articles that showcase his expertise and love for the beautiful game. With a passion for soccer that spans over two decades, Nikhil is well-versed in covering core sports articles. As a die-hard fan of Real Madrid, Nikhil understands the importance of team spirit and the unwavering support of fans in changing the course of a game.
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Edited by

Jacob Gijy