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Cristiano Ronaldo

No Ronaldo! CR7 left out of Al-Nassr squad for would-be debut against Al-Tai

18:04 GMT+3 06/01/2023
Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr 2022-23
Cristiano Ronaldo's debut for Al-Nassr is on hold after the Portuguese superstar was left out of the matchday squad for the clash against Al-Tai.
  • Ronaldo not named in squad vs Al-Tai
  • Portuguese carries a two-game FA ban
  • Might debut against PSG in a friendly

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite being officially presented as an Al-Nassr player on Tuesday, Ronaldo must wait to make his debut for his new club. The Knights of Najd are playing Al-Tai on Friday evening and coach Rudi Garcia has not named the 37-year-old in his matchday squad. The forward is likely serving a two-game FA ban he was handed as a Manchester United player for smashing an Everton fan's phone.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: There are other factors preventing Ronaldo from being registered with the Saudi FA: a foreign player will have to leave Al-Nassr as there are already eight on their books excluding the Portuguese, and the club will have to get a certificate of competence from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) by granting dues to employees in the football sector. It has been reported that Uzbek midfielder Jaloliddin Masharapov will be sacrificed, having made just one appearance this season - although he is starting against Al-Tai.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? The forward is unlikely to be available for the clash with Al-Shabab on January 14 due to the ban. He could finally his debut in Asia when a Saudi All-Star XI sensationally face Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain in the Riyadh Season Cup on January 19.