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Al Nassr boss Rudi Garcia has expressed his frustration at the circumstances surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s delayed debut with the club.
Ronaldo joined the Saudi Arabian outfit last month after he was released by Manchester United following a controversial interview in which he criticised many aspects of the English side.
And after a frustrating 2022 World Cup with Portugal, the iconic attacker has been waiting patiently for a fresh start at Al Nassr.
But the forward was forced out of the club’s 2-0 victory over Al Tai on Friday, and will also miss Saturday’s meeting with Al Shabab. His absence comes due to a ban imposed after he knocked a phone out of the hand of an Everton supporter last April.
Al Nassr boss angry at Ronaldo debut situation
The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid man is eligible to make his club debut in the match against Al Ettifaq on January 22.
But Al Nassr boss Garcia has confirmed that the superstar may just feature for the first time in a prestige friendly match against French giants PSG.
The game, which could potentially see Ronaldo face off against fellow world-beater Lionel Messi, would see PSG take on a Saudi All-Star XI.
That XI would comprise players from both Al Nassr and Al Hilal, in a match which has the manager of the former club not best pleased.
“His debut won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey,” said Garcia, as reported by LiveScore. “It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr.
“As the coach of Al Nassr, I cannot be pleased with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing.
“But we have a championship game three days later. In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it’s not a big deal.”
Ronaldo move compared to Pele switch
Garcia also spoke about the impact of Ronaldo’s arrival, noting how much it has already done for the club and indeed general life in Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al Nassr, with his contract thought to be one of the most lucrative in the history of football.
And his move to the club has been compared to the late Pele’s switch to New York Cosmos in 1975, with the Brazilian having made the move to the US following a legendary spell with Santos.
Ronaldo has lifted countless trophies throughout his phenomenal career, both individually and for his various clubs and his nation. He is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and has four European Golden Shoes to his name.
Pele meanwhile, who sadly passed away last month, is the only player to lift the prestigious World Cup trophy three times.
“It’s a bit like Pele’s arrival, especially for the development of football, sport and culture in Saudi Arabia,” said Garcia. “Cristiano Ronaldo is more than a player. He is one of the best players in the world.
“It’s amazing how much it’s put a spotlight on our club. Now everyone knows where our club is around the world.
“We must have gone from 800,000 [Twitter followers] to 10 million in a few hours, or a few days, because of Cristiano’s arrival.”
Thank you Riyadh for the warm welcome! Look forward to seeing you at the stadium tonight💛💙 pic.twitter.com/0AsT4wLdYq
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 3, 2023