How David De Gea praised Ronaldo after scoring brace against Benzema’s Al Ittihad

Former Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after the striker helped Al-Nassr to defeat Al-Ittihad aside in the Saudi Pro League, Newspremises reports.

The Portuguese superstar who was team-mate with De Gea at Old Trafford, scored twice for Al-Nassr as the Knights of Najd secured a convincing 5-2 victory against the defending Saudi champions.

The 38-year-old first struck in the 19th minute from the penalty spot to level the score for the visitors after Abderrazak Hamdallah had shot Ittihad into the lead.

Hamdallah and Cristiano would trade goals after recess, but the latter’s strike, his second from the spot, would give Al-Nassr the lead and eventually spur the visitors to victory, with Sadio Mane adding a quickfire double.

Ronaldo’s brace makes him the outright top scorer in 2023, reaching 53 goals throughout the calendar year, signifying his renaissance after enduring a torrid 2022.

For context, his total tally surpasses that of Manchester City’s goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland, red-hot Bayern Munich forward Harry Kane, and PSG’s all-time top scorer Kylian Mbappe in the calendar year.

He is also in the run-in to scoop the 2023-2024 Saudi Pro League top scorer as the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus ace leads the chart with 19 goals in 17 games, per Transfermarkt.

David De Gea salutes Ronaldo

Despite being 38, his sterling performance has won the hearts of many, including that of his former United teammate David De Gea.

De Gea, who is currently unattached after his contract with the Red Devils expired in the summer, took to social media to laud the Portuguese phenom.

The 33-year-old goalkeeper described CR7 as an “Animal”, as cited by TCR on X (formerly called Twitter), following his impressive outing against Ittihad. He received an overall rating of 8.2 from Sofascore.

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