Why Did Al Nassr Drop Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Brozovic & Alex Telles in Asian Champions League? Reason Behind the Trio’s Absence vs FC Istiklol Dushanbe

Published 12/04/2023, 11:00 AM EST

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Al Nassr will now travel to Tajikistan for their next match. They are facing FC Istiklol in the Asian Champions League Group stage. However, they have raised eyebrows with some changes to the squad for this game. The Saudi giants will play without Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Brozovic, and Alex Telles for the last group-stage game.

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Manager Luis Castro will hope that they do not become the first team to give Istiklol their first Champions League win this season. They will hope to win this game to bounce back from their defeat against Al Hilal.

Why is the star trio including Cristiano Ronaldo not in the Al Nassr squad for next game?

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Al Nassr has announced their squad that will travel to Tajikistan for the Asian Champions League games against FC Istiklol. Some huge names will miss the match. Undoubtedly, Cristiano Ronaldo will be the biggest miss. Besides, Marcelo Brozovic and Alex Telles are also not part of the traveling squad. The Croatian midfielder will miss the game as he is suspended after getting three yellow cards. Alex Telles will miss the game as he is injured. The Brazilian left-back suffered his injury against Al Hilal in the 37th minute. Hence, he could not continue. 

The injury is certainly a big setback for Alex Telles. This is because he has played impressively this season. Brozovic, because of his suspension, will have the chance to recover for the upcoming games. Hence, the five foreigners that will travel for the game are Otavio, Talisca, Laporte, Fofana, and Mane.

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The most notable absentee is star forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Hence, the Saudi giants will certainly miss his services in the forward line. But, Luis Castro had to make this decision for several reasons.

Ronaldo is missing the game for several reasons

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Al Nassr players, in the space of seven days, had to play three games. This also included the disappointing defeat against Al Hilal. Before that game, Cristiano Ronaldo played against Persepolis FC in the Asian Champions League. He suffered a neck injury after a clash with the goalkeeper in the opposition box. He had to play with a tape on his neck in the Riyadh Derby.

The next reason is that Al Nassr has already qualified for the next round. They will also finish on top of their group. Their opponents, FC Istiklol, have not managed a win in the group. Al Nassr also won the reverse fixture 3-1. Hence, resting Ronaldo looks like a good decision from Luis Castro. They also have two games in six days, including the Kings Cup semi-final against Al Shadab coming up.

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WATCH THIS STORY:  Ten Times Cristiano Ronaldo Scored Four Goals in a Game

The 38-year-old will certainly rest, use the break to get fully fit, and spend time with his family. Do you believe the absence of the star trio will impact the game vs Istiklol? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Written by:

Anuj Nikhil Virjiani

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I can't express how deep my passion for the sport runs, especially when it comes to the English Premier League. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to understanding the intricate details of the game, both on and off the field. What's fascinating is that my beloved club is Newcastle United, and I've been on a rollercoaster journey with them, from their triumphant promotion from the second tier to the recent takeover and even their remarkable qualification for the Champions League last season.
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