Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Celta Vigo in a pre-season friendly on Monday.
The Portuguese superstar played 45 minutes of the match, which saw Marcelo Brozovic make his debut for the Saudi Pro League side. The first half was a goalless draw, but it all fell apart when Celta Vigo opened the floodgates after the break in Faro.
Gael Alonso got the opener just before the hour mark, before Miguel Rodriguez and Jørgen Strand Larsen both nabbed braces to ensure it was a five-goal thrashing without reply.
Brozovic played 54 minutes of the match following his big move from Inter Milan, but was withdrawn from the pitch before the onslaught from the Spanish side.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo missed a great opportunity to give his team the lead during the first half, and it ended up costing Al-Nassr dearly.
Al-Nassr coach Luis Castro now has to prepare his side for forthcoming friendlies against Benfica, PSG and Inter Milan. They will be difficult opponents to face, as they are all teams with significant Champions League pedigree.
Celta Vigo, who finished 13th in LaLiga last season, may have been viewed as a simpler task – but they were ultimately left humiliated.
Pre-season friendlies are an opportunity for teams to consider where they need to strengthen before the serious games begin, and to assess whether new blood can be injected into the team to improve performances and scorelines.
However, they will have to make do with the players that they have for the forthcoming Saudi Pro League season, as FIFA has banned Al-Nassr from registering new players due to an ongoing dispute with Leicester City.
- “It was a difficult day for us,” said Al-Nassr coach Luis Castro. “We made some mistakes and Celta Vigo punished us. We have to learn from this and improve before the start of the season.”
- “I’m disappointed with the result,” said Cristiano Ronaldo. “We didn’t play well enough and Celta Vigo were better than us. We need to work hard in the coming weeks to improve our performance.”
- Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in September 2022 from Manchester United.
- Marcelo Brozovic joined Al-Nassr in July 2023 from Inter Milan.
- Celta Vigo finished 13th in LaLiga last season.
- Al-Nassr are the current champions of the Saudi Pro League.
- FIFA has banned Al-Nassr from registering new players due to an ongoing dispute with Leicester City.
Al-Nassr’s 5-0 defeat to Celta Vigo was a humiliating result, and it will be a wake-up call for the Saudi Pro League champions. They will need to improve their performance significantly if they want to challenge for the title again this season.
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