Al-Nassr manager blames Cristiano Ronaldo for Saudi Super cup defeat to rivals Al-Ittihad

After a 3-1 defeat to Al Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup semi-final, Al Nassr manager Rudi Garcia placed some blame on Cristiano Ronaldo for the loss.

The match, which took place at the King Fahd International Stadium, began with Romarinho striking the opener for Al Ittihad just 15 minutes into the game.

And just before half-time, Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah doubled the lead for Al Ittihad.

In the second half, Anderson Talisca reduced the deficit for Al Nassr in the 67th minute, but Muhannad Al Shanqeeti sealed the win for Al Ittihad in stoppage time.

However, it was a missed opportunity by the new superstar signing Cristiano Ronaldo that Garcia believes to be a turning point in the match.

The ball was fizzed into Ronaldo from a cross and it looked like the Portuguese was going to open his account for Al Nassr, but his headed attempt was straight at goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, who made a fairly easy save to deny him.

Al Ittihad launched a quick counter-attack, but the ball was intercepted and ended up with Ronaldo on the left. However, the 37-year-old lost possession of the ball, and Hamdallah headed home the second from a Romarinho cross.

And after the match, Garcia brought up Ronaldo’s chance as a turning point in the game. He said:

“One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed opportunity in the first half,” the former Roma and Lyon boss told reporters.

“I congratulate Al-Ittihad. They presented a much better first half than us, and we played a good second half, but unfortunately we were not able to adjust the result.”

To add insult to injury, the opposition supporters subjected Ronaldo to Lionel Messi chants.

It has not been the greatest start to Ronaldo’s career at the Saudi club. He is yet to score his first competitive goal for his new team and now the manager has publicly placed some blame on him for the cup defeat.




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