Ronaldo could make his Al Nassr debut against Messi, PSG in Saudi Arabia
Cristiano Ronaldo could make his first appearance for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain after he serves the remainder of his suspension, coach Rudi Garcia disclosed. . After being suspended by the English Football Association for knocking a phone out of a fan’s during following Manchester United’s loss at Everton in April, Ronaldo missed the first of two domestic matches for Al Nassr on Friday.
Garcia stated that the 37-year-old forward would also miss the league match against Al Shabab and would make his debut against Ettifaq on January 22 unless he plays against Lionel Messi’s PSG on January 19 in Riyadh with a side made up of players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal.
“It [his debut] won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey. It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr,” Garcia told French newspaper L’Equipe.
“As the coach of Al Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing. But we have a championship game three days later.
“In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it’s not a big deal … We are in the lead, we are happy. It is a difficult championship to win, but we intend to do it.”
Garcia compared Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia to Pele’s move to the New York Cosmos, bringing attention to the dark horse Saudi team that has gained more than 10 million new Instagram followers since Ronaldo’s signing last month.
After a turbulent two months in which his united contract was mutually terminated and Portugal fell in the World Cup quarterfinals, the former Lille and Lyon coach expressed his hope that Ronaldo can rediscover the joy of playing football.
“In recent months, between Manchester United, the national team and also at a private level, he has not had easy moments,” Garcia said.
“If he finds the pleasure of playing again, it will be a good goal to achieve.”