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via Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo is in turbulent water again after Al Nassr’s Saudi Super Cup semi-final loss against Al Hilal. Adding insult to the injury was the red card Ronaldo picked for elbowing Al Hilal defender Ali Albulayhi amid an altercation. Al Nassr coach Luis Castro defended CR7, saying Albulayhi provoked him. However, now it seems that soccer journalists in Saudi Arabia are not buying Castro’s defense of Ronaldo. Saudi-based analysts have now called out the 39-year-old for exiting the field early with a red card. They say, Ronaldo, as a true leader, should have stayed till the end to support Al Nassr.

As it happened, the referee stopped the Al Nassr-Al Hilal game in the second half after Ali Albulayhi fouled Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate Abdulrahman Ghareeb. CR7 intervened to snatch the ball from Albulayhi’s rear side to play the advantage. This frustrated the defender, and he went chest-to-chest with the Al Nassr skipper. In defense, Ronaldo elbowed the former and sent him down to the ground, and it resulted in a red card.

“The team is missing you. You may not even know, there is still time. You as a leader, as we say in Cristiano, in consistency, in personality. Now he is taking responsibility. You are a leader, you are not supposed to be easily provoked,” said Saudi-based journalist Ahmed Atif. The journalist also lamented Ronaldo losing his cool, despite having years of experience. “Even if you are[provoked], you have been through a lot of games like this,” he added.

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Meanwhile, untelevised footage also showed the Portuguese icon gesturing a clenched fist towards the referee. The ramifications of CR7’s reckless antics are so intense that Al Nassr will suffer a huge setback upon their return to the Saudi Pro League.

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Cristiano Ronaldo to sit out for the remainder of the month in suspension

As per Saudi Arabian handles on X, Cristiano Ronaldo will receive an obvious one-game ban in the Saudi Pro League for the red card he picked in the Super Cup semi. Furthermore, the Saudi League’s disciplinary committee will reportedly extend his ban by another game for his reckless behavior. Therefore, the superstar could miss Al Nassr’s remaining games in April against Al Feiha and Al Khaleej. Notably, Al Nassr has been on a four-game winning streak in the SPL and Ronaldo has netted back-to-back goals in those games. Hence, his absence could even lead to Al Nassr bucking their winning trend.

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Last month also, the 5x Ballon d’Or winner faced the disciplinary committee’s wrath for obscenely pumping his hands toward rival fans. So, as the Saudi media pointed out, it is quite surprising to see a man of CR7’s experience constantly landing in trouble for a temper tantrum. The 2016 UEFA Euro winner is expected to return to the King’s Cup’s semi-final against Al Khaleej in May.

Written by

Krishna Prasad M

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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

Sreeda U M