Ronaldo's Al-Nassr debut: No goal for CR7 but ex-Man Utd star has his smile back

Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr 2022-23Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's first outing in the Middle East came in the Riyadh All-Star XI's glamorous exhibition match against Paris Saint-Germain last week, which he marked with a brace to outshine his eternal rival Lionel Messi.

Both men came off after 60 minutes as PSG went on to earn a 5-4 victory, but while Messi then returned to Europe to resume Ligue 1 and Champions League pursuits, Ronaldo remained in Saudi Arabia to begin his career with Al-Nassr.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted the time was right for a "new challenge in Asia" after signing his eye-watering £177-million-per-year contract with the Saudi Pro League outfit, having seen his previous deal at Manchester United terminated by mutual consent in November.

Ronaldo's second spell at Old Trafford ended in controversial circumstances, and he cut a frustrated figure during his final months at the club, but already looks to be embracing a fresh start at Al-Nassr.

Rudi Garcia's side beat Ettifaq 1-0 in the Portugal striker's first competitive appearance, and although he failed to get his name on the scoresheet, there were plenty of positives to take from his performance as Al-Nassr moved back to the top of the league.

GOAL breaks down his long-awaited debut...