Cristiano Ronaldo sets Saudi Pro League scoring record

May 28, 2024
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Cristiano Ronaldo set the season goal-scoring record on Monday to round off the Saudi Pro League.

Cristiano Ronaldo sets Saudi Pro League scoring record

Ronaldo scored twice in Riyadh as Al-Nassr defeated Al-Ittihad 4-2, bringing his league tally to 35, one higher than Abderrazak Hamdallah’s record from 2019.

In the last seconds of the first half, Ronaldo, who had previously had two goals called out for offside, chested down a long cross from Mohammed Al-Fatil and scored with a low effort from the left side of the box.

Ronaldo finished an action-packed season with four hat tricks and one red card. He was also suspended in February for making an obscene gesture at Al-Shabab fans who were screaming the name of Ronaldo’s long-time adversary, Lionel Messi.

Al-Nassr finished second in the league, 14 points behind local rival Al-Hilal.

Al-Hilal won the championship more than two weeks ago and closed the 34-game season unblemished on Monday.

Al-Hilal was too strong even without Neymar. Neymar joined the Saudi Powerhouse from Paris Saint-Germain in August, but he sustained a season-ending ACL injury in October.

Aleksandar Mitrovic came on and scored in the dying seconds to seal a 2-1 season-ending victory over Al-Wehda. The Serbian striker, who signed from Fulham in London last summer, has 27 league goals, second only to Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo achieves a new milestone but his team fails to win the trophy this season

Al-Hilal won the championship by winning 34 straight games across all competitions, shattering the record for a top-tier team globally.

“This season has been truly exceptional for the team, arguably our best ever,” coach Jorge Jesus stated. “The credit goes to the immense talent within the squad and the incredible sense of unity that transcends both on and off-field interactions.”

Al-Ittihad’s defeat against Al-Nassr capped a poor season for the defending champion. Karim Benzema, bought from Real Madrid, battled with injuries, and despite having N’Golo Kante and Fabinho in midfield, signed from Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively, the squad from Jeddah finished sixth.

Nuno Santo was fired as coach in November due to poor performances, but he returned to the English Premier League a month later to take over Nottingham Forest.

Al-Ahli, the fourth of the ‘Big Four’ clubs acquired by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in June, finished third, 17 points behind Al-Nassr. Al-Ahli defeated Al-Fayha 1-0, due to a late goal by former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, his ninth of the season.

Ronaldo received the most attention, but the 39-year-old still had one more chance to complete the season with a title when Al-Nassr faced Al-Hilal in the King’s Cup final on Friday.

With 21 minutes remaining, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner erupted in celebration after heading in a Marcelo Brozovic corner kick. He was taken off the field five minutes later, to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

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