WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo embraces villain role with smirk at rival fan chants in Al-Nassr loss

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Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to welcome chants for Lionel Messi as he prepared to take to the pitch for Al-Nassr against Al-Ittihad.
  • Ronaldo taunted by Al-Ittihad fans
  • Greeted with chants for rival Messi
  • But responds with wry smile

WHAT HAPPENED? Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed the idea of playing the role of pantomime villain as he prepared for his biggest game yet in an Al-Nassr shirt. In a crucial top of the table clash between the Saudi Pro League's two big hitters this season, Al-Ittihad fans did their best to unnerve the 38-year-old with cheeky chants for Lionel Messi, but Ronaldo remained ice cool.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has been no stranger to criticism throughout his career and certainly has his fans and his enemies, but kept his cool to give us a rather humorous - and incredibly meme-worthy - moment.

As well as chanting for Messi in a bid to hopefully put off Ronaldo, Al-Ittihad fans went even further, begging the club to sign the Argentine World Cup winner. It's not the first time they've done it, either; Al-Ittihad fans tried to put off the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with Messi chants back in January, when Ronaldo first signed for the club.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Ronaldo and Al-Nassr couldn't manage a win, losing 1-0 away from home thanks to an 80th minute goal from Romarinho.

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WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo will need to continue his fine scoring form in order to avenge the loss against their rivals and help Al-Nassr back to the top of the table in the coming weeks.