Cristiano Ronaldo squares off with UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Riyadh

Portuguese is preparing to make Al Nassr debut on Sunday

Cristiano Ronaldo meets Francis Ngannou in Riyadh. Pic: @francis_ngannou
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Cristiano Ronaldo and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou squared off in Riyadh on Saturday – but thankfully for the former it was all in jest.

The pair met in the Saudi Arabia capital this weekend, where Ronaldo is preparing to make his Al Nassr debut on Sunday following his hugely lucrative move to the club last month.

Ngannou, meanwhile, has been in the kingdom for a few days, less than one week after UFC president Dana White confirmed the then-heavyweight champion had left the promotion. The Cameroonian athlete is now a free agent.

Ngannou, who has long harboured hopes of a switch to professional boxing, attended the Riyadh Season Cup on Thursday, where an Allstar XI captained by Ronaldo took on Paris Saint-Germain in a friendly.

On Saturday, Ngannou posted pictures and video of his meeting with Ronaldo, describing their interaction as “very inspirational”.

Ronaldo, 37, is set to play his first official match for Nassr on Sunday night, at home to Al Ettifaq in the Saudi pro League. Currently second in the table, Nassr will reclaim the summit with a victory.

Updated: January 22, 2023, 10:54 AM