Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature for Al Nassr in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday night, with manager Luis Castro deciding to rest the club captain.
Ronaldo, 38, has been in red-hot form this season, scoring 21 goals in 22 matches. The Portuguese forward grabbed his latest in Saturday’s 2-0 Saudi Pro League victory against Al Khaleej – a result that helped keep Nassr, last year’s runners-up, second in the table.
Five days previously, Ronaldo played the entire King’s Cup last-16 win against Al Ettifaq, with Nassr triumphing 1-0 in extra-time.
However, Castro confirmed Ronaldo would not be in action against Qatari side Al Duhail in Doha on Tuesday, despite Nassr potentially confirming their place in the Champions League knockout stages.
The Riyadh club sit top of Group E with maximum points after three wins. Ronaldo scored twice in the corresponding fixture against Duhail two weeks ago, when Nassr ran out 4-3 winners.
Sadio Mane, the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich forward, is expected to lead the line in Ronaldo’s absence on Tuesday.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will not participate in the match because he is tired due to his many participations,” Castro said at Monday's pre-match press conference. “I know that there are those who want to see him, but he needs to rest.
“He is not ready, but we have many stars. I did not decide to exclude the legend Cristiano Ronaldo, but his capabilities decided that. Because 48 hours ago he played a match, and before that he played 120 minutes.”
Nassr are next in Saudi Pro League action on Saturday night, when they travel to eighth-placed Al Wehda. Nassr are currently four points off leaders Al Hilal after 12 rounds.