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Cristiano Ronaldo's Heartbreak: Al-Nasr's Defeat in Saudi King Cup Final

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Cristiano Ronaldo faced heartbreak as Al-Nasr lost to Al Hilal in the Saudi King Cup final. Despite a prolific season, Ronaldo's team missed a major trophy, culminating in an emotional end to their campaign.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was in tears after Al-Nasr narrowly lost to Al Hilal in the final of the 2023-2024 Saudi King Cup. The heart-wrenching match culminated in a penalty shootout, with Al Hilal emerging victorious 5-4 after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time. Ronaldo's team, which had already finished second in the league behind Al Hilal, missed yet another chance to win a major title this season.

Al-Nasr accumulated 82 points with an impressive record of 26 wins, 4 draws, and 4 losses, but it was not enough to close the gap with Al Hilal, who went undefeated with 96 points in 34 games. Al-Nasr had previously lost to Al Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup semifinals and crashed out in the AFC Champions League quarterfinals to Al Ain, a team from the United Arab Emirates.

Ronaldo, who had joined Al-Nasr in a high-profile move from Manchester United at the end of 2022, managed to win the Arab Club Champions Cup but has yet to secure other major competitions with his new team. Despite an outstanding individual season where he scored 50 goals in 51 games and became the top scorer in the Saudi league with 35 goals, Ronaldo's dreams of team glory were dashed.

The King's Cup final was emotionally charged, with Ronaldo having a chance to score with a spectacular overhead kick that narrowly missed. The match saw several key moments, including Al Hilal's Aleksandar Mitrovic opening the scoring, and Al-Nasr's Ayman Yahya equalizing after multiple players were sent off. The penalty shootout ended in dramatic fashion as Morocco international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saved the final shots, denying Ronaldo's team the title.

Ronaldo, who has previously clinched top scorer titles in the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and Italian Serie A, added the Saudi league top scorer title to his accolades. However, the season ended on a sour note as Al Hilal's triumph in the King's Cup final left Ronaldo and Al-Nasr without a major trophy. The image of Ronaldo lying on the ground and sobbing covered in the final moments epitomized the heartbreak of the loss.

  • The match took place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and had fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Darío Herrera, the Argentine referee, played a significant role, sending off three players, including Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.
  • Al Hilal's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, famously known for his impressive performance against Ronaldo's Portugal in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, emerged as the match hero. His saves during the penalty shootout, especially stopping the final shot from Al-Nasr's Meshari Al-Nemer, cemented Al Hilal's victory.
  • Ronaldo's emotional reaction after the match was widely covered, with many fans and pundits sympathizing with his evident distress. His prolific scoring ability and dedication to his team were unquestionable, but the lack of a major trophy this season raises questions about the future trajectory of his tenure with Al-Nasr.
Clam Reports
Refs: | Clarin | SBS News |

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