Cristiano Ronaldo watches Al Nassr win in heavy rain in Riyadh - in pictures

Portuguese serving two-match ban as he waits to make his debut for Saudi club

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Cristiano Ronaldo was given a far from routine welcome to Saudi football as he watched Al Nassr secure victory on Friday amid heavy rain and cold.

The Portuguese would not have expected wet and windy climate in his first week in Riyadh as he waited to make his debut for the Saudi club after his record deal.

Ronaldo was not included in Al Nassr's squad for Friday's Saudi Professional League match against Al Ta'ee as he remained suspended by England's Football Association (FA) for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand after Manchester United's defeat at Everton in April.

The match between Al Nassr and Al Ta'ee was originally scheduled for Thursday at Mrsool Park but was postponed by 24 hours due to heavy rain and weather conditions impacting the stadium's electricity.

The match itself went ahead as planned for Nassr as they emerged victorious with a 2-0 result. After the game, manager Rudi Garcia tweeted: "Under a deluge and on a field at the limit of practicability, my players were admirable. They adapted intelligently and won logically, increasing the gap with our opponents at the top of the league."

The 37-year-old is in Saudi after agreeing to a two-and-a-half-year contract with Al Nassr. Ronaldo had ended his contract with Manchester United in November by mutual consent after their relation between the club and player soured.

According to reports, Ronaldo's deal, including commercial and sponsorship tie-ins, could be worth more than $200 million per year.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that Ronaldo still needs to serve his two-match ban after he is registered. Al Nassr have not yet registered Ronaldo because the Saudi club have exceeded their quota for foreign players.

Updated: January 23, 2023, 12:11 PM
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