Cristiano Ronaldo told he is 'light years' away from Lionel Messi as former Al-Hilal manager gives scathing assessment of CR7's first six months at Al-Nassr

Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Saudi All Stars 2022-23Getty Images
  • Ronaldo ended Al-Nassr season without trophy
  • Al-Hilal's former caretaker boss gave scathing review
  • And rubbished comparisons to Messi

WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese forward moved to Saudi Arabia in late 2022 after being forced out of Manchester United, ending the season with 14 goals and two assists to his name. However, Ronaldo still failed to score in 11 of his 19 matches across all competitions, as Al-Nassr finished the campaign without a trophy to their name. Diaz, who worked alongside father Ramon at third-placed Al-Hilal and briefly took over as caretaker boss, had first-hand experience of the 38-year-old's performances in the Middle East.

WHAT THEY SAID: Diaz was scathing in his review of Ronaldo's first six months at Al-Nassr, telling TyC Sports: "He had a hard time, we [Al-Hilal] faced him and had a good time." On whether the Portuguese "didn't even touch the ball" in his appearance against Al-Hilal, Diaz replied: "He had a hard time. With the big clubs he made no difference. He scored three or four goals for the small clubs and I saw that they were talking about him here. He lost the Kings Cup, he lost the Super Cup and the tournament. In Asia he is not going to compete."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo could be joined in the Gulf State by eternal rival Lionel Messi in the near future, as he nears free agency from Paris Saint-Germain with precisely Al-Hilal poised to seal a record-breaking deal for the Argentine. On comparisons between Ronaldo and his compatriot, Diaz was clear on his views, adding: "No, in no way, not as a footballer. There is no comparison. We have faced him less than three months ago and I went to see Leo at the World Cup. We are talking about light years of comparison. There is no comparison but the numbers support him, he is an animal. But at the level of quality of Leo there is no comparison."

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Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr dejected 2022-23Getty ImagesCristiano Ronaldo Al-NassrGettymessi argentina(C)Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? While Messi closes in on a mega-money move, Ronaldo returns from supporting charity initiatives in Singapore for long-term friend Peter Lim. He has been included in Roberto Martinez's Portugal squad to take on Bosnia and Iceland later this month.

Who will win the Saudi Pro League top scorer award this season?

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Who will win the Saudi Pro League top scorer award this season?

  • 70%Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 9%Karim Benzema
  • 8%Neymar
  • 6%Roberto Firmino
  • 1%Malcom
  • 6%Other
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