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Cristiano Ronaldo signals for female referee to be sent off as Al Nassr lose to Al Hilal (Video)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s highly anticipated comeback to the field did not go as planned, marking a disappointing return in 2024.

The Portuguese veteran, participating in his first match of the year for Al-Nassr in the Riyadh Season Cup, witnessed a disheartening loss as his Knights of Najd team fell 2-0 to local rivals Al-Hilal at the Kingdom Arena.


Despite Ronaldo’s full match presence, his team struggled, and his performance appeared rusty, likely influenced by the Saudi Pro League hiatus and recent injury.

It was a stark contrast to Al-Nassr’s earlier success in the year, where they secured a 6-0 victory against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami in Ronaldo’s absence.

Cristiano Ronaldo fails to glitter as Al-Nassr lose

The 39-year-old’s return to the starting lineup failed to ignite inspiration, with former SS Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, breaking the game’s deadlock for Al-Hilal after just 17 minutes, Arab News reports.

Matters worsened for Al-Nassr as Salem Al Dawsari doubled the lead for the Blue Waves by the half-hour mark.

Attempting to alter the match’s trajectory, coach Luis Castro made half-time substitutions, introducing Senegalese international, Sadio Mane, and Saudi defender, Ali Lajami.

Despite gaining more possession, Al-Nassr managed just one shot on target, while the Saudi Pro League leaders effectively thwarted Ronaldo and his teammates to claim the win.

Ronaldo calls for referee to be ‘sent home’

According to Yard Breaker, as the game unfolded, Ronaldo – the world’s top scorer in 2023 – found it challenging to assert his dominance on the game.

Frustrated by the team’s downturn and likely his own performance, he seemed to vent his displeasure at centre referee, Tori Penso, an esteemed American official.

Penso issued a yellow card to Ronaldo for dissent after he expressed dissatisfaction with a decision, appearing to gesture for the referee to be sent off.

The 39-year-old’s return to the starting lineup failed to spark inspiration, as reported by Arab News.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the former SS Lazio midfielder, swiftly broke the game’s deadlock for Al-Hilal within 17 minutes.

Al-Nassr faced further setbacks when Salem Al Dawsari doubled the lead for the Blue Waves by the half-hour mark.

In an attempt to change the course of the match, coach Luis Castro made halftime substitutions, bringing in Senegalese international Sadio Mane and Saudi defender Ali Lajami.

Despite gaining more possession, Al-Nassr managed only one shot on target, while the Saudi Pro League leaders effectively thwarted Ronaldo and his teammates, securing the victory.

As the game unfolded, Ronaldo, the world’s top scorer in 2023, struggled to assert dominance.

Frustrated by the team’s downturn and likely his own performance, he appeared to express displeasure towards the esteemed American official, center referee Tori Penso.

Penso issued a yellow card to Ronaldo for dissent after he voiced dissatisfaction with a decision, seemingly gesturing for the referee to be sent off, as reported by Yard Breaker.

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