It seems all of the attention in soccer lately has gone to Lionel Messi since his debut for Inter Miami of the MLS, and rightfully so, as he’s been dominating so far, making the competition he’s playing look like children compared to him, scoring eight goals to go along with three assists in his first five games.
However, his rival Cristiano Ronaldo reminded the soccer world why he’s so highly renowned as well as one of the best to ever do it by helping lead AL Nassr to their first ever Arab Club Champions Cup in the clubs' history in a 2-1 victory over Saudi rivals Al-Hila in extra time despite playing with just 10 men for more than an hour.
Al-Hilal was in front early in the second half led by Brazilian winger Michael Oliviera, with Nassr decimated to just 10 players out on the field due to a last minute foul by Abdulelah Al-Amri in the 71st minute. The celebration of Hilal’s players and the crowd lit the fire in Ronaldo.
Despite being a man down, Ronaldo displayed why he’s one of the greatest soccer players to ever take the field by scoring both of their goals. The first one came off a terrific textbook pass from one of his teammates on a fastbreak at the 73-minute mark to equalize the game at 1-1 with the Hilal’s goalkeeper, Abdullah AL-Mayouf’s hands just within grasp of getting the ball if it was a split second slower.
The Portuguese icon came up big once again in the eighth minute of extra time for his second goal. It was a beautiful head bunt off a long ranged crossbar failed kick from his teammate Seko Fofana that happened to bounce right in the grasp of Ronaldo’s lap for him to easily bunt it in and give Nassr a 2-1 lead.
Ronaldo did eventually hurt his leg in the second half of extra time that saw him get carted off as Nassr hopes the injury isn’t too serious to their star player.
In the end, the uplifting boost of energy that Ronaldo’s goals gave to the team helped them pull through and close out against their rivals to claim their first ever Arab Club Championship in the clubs’ 68-year history, with the club being first established in 1955.
With Messi seemingly getting all the media attention in the soccer world, Ronaldo wins his first cup since May of 2021 when he won the Coppa Italia with Juventus and reminded all once again why he’s revered as one of the best athletes on the planet.