Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia backtracks on Cristiano Ronaldo criticism after four-goal haul, claiming he is now in 'harmony' with his team-mates

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Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr 2022-23
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Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia has made a U-turn on criticisms over Cristiano Ronaldo's integration with the squad after he scored four on Thursday.

WHAT HAPPENED? The 38-year-old rolled back the years in what was a memorable evening for the Portuguese forward, scoring his 500th career goal before promptly putting three more past Al-Wehda in the Saudi Pro League. Speaking after only Al-Nassr's second win in five games across all competitions, Garcia showered praise on his recently appointed club captain.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Ronaldo has reached a great stage of homogeneity and harmony with his teammates,” the 55-year-old told reporters. “Over time, his team-mates realised what he wanted and when he will score. I think it was a good night for Cristiano Ronaldo because he scored four goals.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, these words contrast greatly to Garcia's offerings in recent weeks. After his side's Super Cup exit to Al-Ittihad, he claimed that "it is very important that the players play normally and don't always try to give Cristiano the ball". Perhaps more dramatically, the Frenchman publicly singled out the 37-year-old for his costly miss shortly before conceding, with Ronaldo at the time yet to score for his new club. Now, after an impressive four-goal haul and Al Nassr back to the top of the league, Garcia appears to have changed his tune.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo - Rudi Garcia - nassr 2023

Ronaldo Al-Wehda 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? After scoring all the goals in a 4-0 win, the Portugal international will lead Al-Nassr out once more when they host Al-Taawoun in the Saudi Pro League next Friday.