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Cristiano Ronaldo taunted by ‘Messi’ chants after new low in Saudi Arabia

The Independent logo The Independent 27/01/2023 Harry Latham-Coyle
Cristiano Ronaldo.jpg © Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo.jpg

Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to be taunted with chants about his on-field rival Lionel Messi after the Portuguese forward’s new club were beaten again.

Ronaldo failed to register in a 3-1 defeat to Al-Ittihad as Al-Nassr were knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup at the semi-final stage.

Having made his debut in the league on Sunday, the Portuguese forward again played all 90 minutes in a central striking role.

But goals from Romarinho, Abderrazak Hamdallah and Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti ensured it Al-Ittihad set up a final against Al Feiha on Sunday, with the club’s supporters apparently revelling in an opportunity to mock Ronado with repeated calls of Messi’s name as the 37-year-old left the pitch.

Ronaldo reportedly became the highest paid footballer in history when he agreed to join Al-Nassr at the start of January.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had his contract with Manchester United ended in November after alleging that he was being forced out of the club in a two-part interview with TalkTV.

Ronaldo also accused Erik ten Hag, who was appointed as manager at Old Trafford last summer, of having a lack of “respect” for him, and alleged that senior executives lack empathy after the death of Ronaldo’s newborn son in April of last year.

Al-Nassr are top of the Saudi Pro League and meet Al Fateh next Friday.

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