Cristiano Ronaldo hands team-mate winning penalty as gesture of respect

Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during their Saudi Pro League football match against Abha at Mrsool Park Stadium in Riyadh

Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during their Saudi Pro League football match against Abha at Mrsool Park Stadium in Riyadh. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Published Mar 19, 2023

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Riyadh — Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning long-range free kick but handed the task of converting the winning penalty to a team mate 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.

Reuters