HomeFootball NewsCristiano Ronaldo 'being investigated' after footage emerges from Al Nassr Saudi Pro...

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘being investigated’ after footage emerges from Al Nassr Saudi Pro League match

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The Saudi Arabian Football Federation is said to have opened an investigation into Cristiano Ronaldo’s behaviour following a late win for his Al Nassr side at Al Shabab in the Saudi Pro League game on Sunday.

Social media footage from Al Shabab’s home stadium in Riyadh appears to show the five-time Ballon d’Or winner cupping his ears and pumping his hand in front of his pelvis after the title hopefuls prevailed 3-2 at opponents who started the game 25 points behind them in the table.

Multiple reports have cited Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat as saying that the national football federation is examining the incident.

Chants of ‘Messi’ could be heard from the stands, referencing Ronaldo’s generational rival, Lionel, who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022 and has won three more Ballon d’Or titles than the Portugal skipper.

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Television cameras did not capture Ronaldo’s gesture but the scenes drew criticism when they were shared on X – formerly Twitter.

Ronaldo apparent gesture ‘test’ for Saudi

Writing on the platform, Saudi journalist and TV host Waleed Al Farraj said the league’s disciplinary committee was “facing the biggest test”.

“We will wait and see,” he added. “Everything has limits, no matter how much of a star you are. This is how the major leagues are.”

In a poll created by Al Farraj which suggested the incident could have been seen by “young audiences”, more than 51% of voters said Ronaldo should be banned for more than two matches.

ESPN said Al Nassr had not been immediately available to comment.

 

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Ronaldo scored the opening goal of the game with a penalty but Al Nassr needed two goals from fellow forward Talisca, the second coming in the 86th minute, to win the derby.

Al Shabab, who are 11th, equalised twice to threaten an end to Al Nassr’s three-match winning run in all competitions entering the game.

Ronaldo has previously been accused of taunting fans during his appearances for a club he agreed to join at the end of 2022 following his acrimonious release by Manchester United.

The 39-year-old is the top scorer in the top flight with 22 goals, but second-placed Al Nassr are seven points behind Al Hilal following the leaders’ 2-0 win at Al Ettifaq on Monday.

Ronaldo shared Instagram photos of himself celebrating after the game and wrote: “Until the very end. We keep going, no stopping.”

On Monday, the former Real Madrid talisman shared an affectionate photo posted by his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, of the couple working out in a gym.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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