Cristiano Ronaldo wins hearts with touching gesture during Saudi league match

The Portuguese superstar allowed his teammate to take the winning penalty as a gesture of respect in Al Nassr's 2-1 win over Abha

By Reuters

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Al Nassr's Anderson Talisca celebrates his goal with Cristiano Ronaldo. —  Reuters
Al Nassr's Anderson Talisca celebrates his goal with Cristiano Ronaldo. — Reuters

Published: Sun 19 Mar 2023, 6:18 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning long-range free kick but handed the task of converting the winning penalty to a teammate as a gesture of respect, as Al Nassr came from behind to beat Abha 2-1 in the Saudi Pro League on Saturday.

The Portuguese forward, who has now scored nine goals in his first season in Saudi Arabia, handed the ball to Brazilian Anderson Talisca, who had just returned from injury.

Talisca converted the 86th-minute spot kick for his 14th goal of the season and celebrated with Ronaldo as Al Nassr kept up the pressure on Al Ittihad, who lead the league by one point with nine games remaining.

"This is mutual respect and we are one team and we act like a family," Talisca told the Saudi Sports Company (SSC) TV through an interpreter.

"We all cooperate and the most important thing is the team. In the end, it's all for the benefit of the club. Whether it is me or any other player, the important thing is to score. It is certainly something special" from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo's 78th-minute goal was his first at Al Nasr's Marsool Park stadium since his move to Saudi Arabia on a big money 2 1/2 year deal.

The 38-year-old will link up with the Portugal squad for the international break before returning to lead Al-Nassr's bid to win the league title for the first time since 2019.

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