When is Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr debut and how can you watch Saudi league in UAE?

The Portuguese star played his first game on Saudi soil during friendly against PSG and Lionel Messi in Riyadh

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Football fans in Saudi Arabia finally got to see their newest signing - Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo - on the field this week and it was an unforgettable occasion.

The superstar had been able to play for Riyadh club Al Nassr, who he signed for on December 30, due to a two-match domestic ban imposed by the English FA for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand when he played for Manchester United against Everton last April.

But fans were finally able to see Ronaldo play in an action-packed friendly between a Saudi All-Star XI and Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain in Riyadh on Thursday.

Ronaldo marked his maiden outing at his new home with two goals against PSG at the King Fahd Stadium.

The Portuguese striker converted from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark in a match that was eventually won by the Paris club 5-4. He added a second in first-half injury time, smashing home a rebound in front of 68,000 fans.

Now, it's time for the main course as Ronaldo prepares for his league debut for Al Nassr, with whom he signed a record two-and-a-half year deal that is said to be worth over $200 million.

Ronaldo makes his Saudi Pro League debut for Al Nassr against Ettifaq on Sunday.

Here is all you need to know about the game.

Fixture

Al Nassr v Ettifaq, Sunday, January 22, 2023, 9.30 pm UAE time (8.30pm Saudi time).

Venue

Mrsool Park, Riyadh.

Who are Al Nassr?

Al Nassr are based in the Saudi capital Riyadh and are one of the country's most well known and decorated teams.

They have won nine Saudi Premier League titles and current top the Saudi league table ahead of Al Shabab on 26 points.

The team is coached by Frenchman Rudi Garcia.

Their main rivals are fellow Riyadh team Al Hilal, with whom Ronaldo's rival Lionel Messi has been linked with a move.

How to watch the match in the UAE?

Saudi Pro League games can be seen on MBC’s streaming platform Shahid. Click here to get more information. Al Nassr also post highlights of their games on their YouTube channel.

What next?

Ronaldo has said that he wants to take on a new challenge in Asia, having achieved tremendous success in Europe with various clubs, mainly at Real Madrid.

"I'm so proud to make this big decision in my life. In Europe, my work is done," Ronaldo said when Al Nassr unveiled him as their new player.

"I won everything, I played in the most important clubs in Europe and now it's a new challenge in Asia."

Al Nassr manager Rudi Garcia believes Ronaldo's signing will be a huge step for the Saudi Pro League, where Al Nassr are second in the standings on 30 points from 13 games, one point behind Al Ittihad who have played a game more.

Watch: Saudi Arabian businessman spend $2.6m on VIP ticket to watch Ronaldo v Messi in Riyadh

Updated: January 23, 2023, 12:11 PM
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