Cristiano Ronaldo's biggest Al-Nassr game yet to be officiated by Mateu Lahoz - the notorious referee that left Lionel Messi FUMING at 2022 World Cup
- Lahoz to referee huge Saudi clash
- Showed 15 yellow cards in World Cup quarter-final
- Has controversial history with Ronaldo and Messi
WHAT HAPPENED? A report from Spanish outlet AS has claimed that controversial referee Mateu Lahoz is set to be appointed as the official for Al-Nassr's huge game against Al-Ittihad - a fixture that could prove decisive in the race to win the Saudi Pro League.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Having started incredibly brightly at Al-Nassr, bagging eight times in six games for his new club thus far, Ronaldo is gearing up for undoubtedly his most important match yet in the Middle East. Al-Nassr sit just two points above fellow giants Al-Ittihad in the league table with both having played 19 games, making their meeting on Thursday all the more crucial in the title race.
AND WHAT'S MORE: News that Lahoz will take charge of the game adds another intriguing layer. The Spanish referee has developed a notorious reputation through the years and was subject to heavy criticism from Ronaldo's long-time rival Lionel Messi after he dished out the most yellow cards in a World Cup game ever during Argentina's quarter-final against the Netherlands at the 2022 tournament.
The 48-year-old has also faced accusations in the Spanish media of bias towards Real Madrid - Ronaldo's former club - and is also said to be a fan of Los Blancos. Some reports have even described Lahoz and Ronaldo as 'friends', but it remains to be seen whether he will have a big impact on the latter's latest outing in the Saudi Pro League.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? All eyes will be on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to produce a moment of magic for Al-Nassr against Al-Ittihad and propel them one step closer to the Saudi Pro League title.