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Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are the powerhouses of the Saudi Pro League! Every time these two Saudi giants face each other, it is a spectacle not to be missed. It is one of the biggest games in the SPL and that is why this enthralling fixture is called the Riyadh derby. The Al-Alami defeated their arch-rivals in the Arab Club Champions Cup in August. Despite being a goal and a man down, club captain Cristiano Ronaldo inspired his side to a stunning comeback. However, months after this nail-biter, an ex-Al-Nassr player caught the media’s attention after he claimed that the Al-Hilal fans ‘hated’ him.

He has been the talk of the town since his comments on record about the defending Saudi League Champions and their fans. Let’s dig deeper into this saga.

An Ex-Al-Nassr superstar speaks about Saudi Arabia’s fiercest derby


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Former Al-Nassr superstar midfielder Petros has claimed that the rival fans weren’t too friendly with him. The Brazilian midfielder was an integral part of the Al-Nassr squad. After spending three years at Al-Alami, Petros is well aware of the fierce rivalry and competition between the two Saudi Giants. Months after Al-Nassr’s historic Arab Club Champions Cup success, the 34-year-old veteran said, “I don’t hate Al Hilal, but I like to play against them because it will be a big match, and many of their fans hate me because they don’t know me.”

Al-Nassr has been in fantastic form this season. Despite their match-winning form, their rivals, Al-Hilal, lead the Saudi Pro League table. Al-Nassr will be looking to leapfrog their rivals. They will rely on their clinical #7 to deliver in the crucial games. Despite his phenomenal form, Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be pleased with the recent Ballon d’Or rankings even after having a good year with his club and country, both.


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Cristiano Ronaldo completely misses out on the 2023 Ballon d’Or!

For the first time in 20 years, Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be in the top 30 rankings of the Ballon d’Or. Despite being the top scorer in 2023, the Al-Nassr forward came short. He has been in terrific form for both Portugal and Al-Nassr. The soccer veteran scored over 40 goals this year, even more than the likes of Erling Haaland, and Kylian Mbappe. However, the Argentine looks like the favorite to win the award, Lionel Messi.

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Despite the rankings, Ronaldo will be focused on helping Al-Nassr climb the SPL table. After last night, they are currently seven points behind the leaders, Al-Hilal. With the superstar in red-hot form, will he guide Al-Nassr to league and AFC Champions League glory this season?

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Written by

Mohd Rumman Chak


One take at a time

Rumman is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. His deep-rooted passion for the beautiful game has been cultivated over 13 years of avidly following and playing soccer at the National level, not once, but twice. Engaging in sports debates and quizzes since his school days enriched his knowledge of the sport, and the virtual realm of FIFA video games helped him to develop valuable insights into the dynamics of soccer, all of which now lay a solid foundation for his role as a contemporary soccer writer.
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Edited by

Daniel D'Cruz