38-year-old striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals, provided one assist, helping Al Nassr beat host Al Fateh 5-0 in the third round of Saudi Pro League.
Aftr two defeats, Al Nassr finally won the first three points in the Saudi League 2023-2024. With the addition of center back Aymeric Laporte and $65 million midfielder Otavio, the away team’s strength compared to the home team helped them win even though they didn’t seem to be fully open. Ronaldo and Sadio Mane took turns scoring all five goals, with simple shots from close range at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi.
After two games without scoring, Ronaldo also shined when he scored the first four goals against the home team. In the 27th minute, he received Marcelo Brozovic’s pass with a heel loop to create a one-touch assist through the opponent’s centre-backs, allowing Mane to drop down to open the scoring. The audience of the away team lit flares, as Ronaldo and Mane hugged each other and danced to celebrate the table. That was Ronaldo’s fourth assist this year, after 32 matches in all competitions.
What Ronaldo did better was to score and he scored his first hat-trick in exactly six months, even though all three goals came from within 5.5 yards. In the 38th minute, defender Sultan Al Ghannam hung the ball from the right for Ronaldo to head into the net without anyone at a distance of about 4 meters. He jumped to meet the first goal in the Saudi League this season, but did not celebrate in the same way on the other two goals.
In the 55th minute, midfielder Abdulrahman Ghareeb rushed down to face the goalkeeper but did not shoot but passed the ball to Ronaldo to cushion the ball into an empty net. At the end of the game, Ayman Yahya stretched across the second column for Ronaldo to score a simple goal to complete the hat-trick. In both of these tables, he ran to hug the assist.
The 38-year-old superstar raised his career record to 847 goals and 63 hat-tricks, both records for the 21st century. After the match, he asked the referee to sign the ball for the three-goal player.
In addition to hat-tricks and impromptu assists, Ronaldo also played aggressively and featured a performance in the 69th minute. He flicked the ball to the right and then quickly flicked it in the opposite direction in the penalty area, using the “flip flap” technique. commonly seen in Ronaldinho. Captain Al Nassr overcame the opponent but fell and was not given a penalty.
Ronaldo takes the focus, but Mane is also worthy of praise with a brace. After scoring the second goal in the 81st minute, the Senegalese striker jumped to celebrate the goal quite like Ronaldo. After that, Mane also looked towards CR7 who was running towards him and smiled. Midfielder Brozovic also continued to dominate the Al Nassr midfield, as most of their path to the ball passed through the Croatian player.
With the first win, Al Nassr climbed to 10th in the Saudi League. There are only two winning teams left in the tournament, Al Ittihad and Al Ahli. In the next match, Al Nassr went home to meet Al Shabab at 1 a.m.