Cristiano Ronaldo is in truly sensational form in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr. Another two goals on Tuesday evening in the Asian Champions League against Al Duhail means the Portugal captain now has seven goals from his last four matches for club and country.
Speaking after the 4-3 victory for his side in Group E, Ronaldo continues to demonstrate he is revelling in his new lease of life in 2023, having endured a troublesome end to the previous year.
Ronaldo played a part in the opening goal for Brazilian forward Talisca, using a backheel flick to find the former Benfica man, who put the hosts ahead midway through the first half. The Portuguese almost registered a second assist just before the break, but Sadio Mane failed to convert from Ronaldo’s scooped throughball.
Mane did double Al Nassr’s lead in the early stages after the re-start, and Ronaldo appeared to put the game beyond the Qatari visitors with a stunning third on the hour mark, evading the attention of countryman Rúben Semedo and dispatching a long-distance shot with his left foot which flew into the top corner.
Al Duhail staged an impressive fightback, however, scoring twice through Ismaeel Mohammad (63’) and Almoez Ali (67’) to bring the score to 3-2. It was therefore left for Ronaldo to make the game safe for the hosts, which he did with a brilliant left-foot volley from Sultan Al Ghannam’s Crossfield pass. Michael Olunga registered again for Al Duhail and the game ended 4-3, leaving Al Nassr top of Group E with a 100% record after three matches.
“I don’t care about the records, I think about enjoying the moment,” said Ronaldo, when asked about his form which has yielded 41 goals so far in 2023. “Our team is improving, our coach and the coaching staff have helped Al Nassr to be a top team. I’m having fun, that’s the key word for what I’ve been doing.
“It would be a lie to say that I’m not happy to score goals and be playing well, but Cristiano is not like the others. I’m different from the others, that’s why I keep playing and I’ve done things well. My performances happen through the help of coaches and teammates, that’s why I’ve been at the highest level and that for me is the most important thing. It is to enjoy the moment and continue to help Al Nassr and the Seleção.”