44 goals in 45 matches, 0 titles: What’s going on with Ronaldo?

Cristiano Ronaldo has maintained his incredible scoring performance since joining the Saudi Pro League, but the Portuguese striker has been unable to make an impact in important matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first full season at Al-Nassr ended with 44 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions. 35 of those goals came in the Saudi Pro League, helping CR7 become the first person to win the Golden Boot in 4 different tournaments.

“I don’t chase records, records chase me,” Ronaldo shared on social networks after surpassing Abderrazak Hamdallah’s record of 34 goals in a Saudi Pro League season.

The 39-year-old player still shoots regularly despite his age and it is not surprising if he breaks more records in the Al-Nassr shirt next season.

But it seems like the title is eluding Ronaldo in the Middle East. The Portuguese international joined Al-Nassr on a free transfer in January 2023 after finishing his second spell at Manchester United. But despite CR7’s impressive scoring form, Al-Nassr still did not win any outstanding titles.

Ronaldo burst into tears when Al-Nassr failed in the Kings Cup final. Photo: Cut from video© Provided by Lao Dong

Ronaldo ‘s presence is often associated with titles, but that time seems to have passed. The 39-year-old striker added many goals and records in the Al-Nassr shirt but the title turned away.

Al-Nassr’s 2023-2024 campaign came to a heartbreaking end when they suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Al-Hilal in the Kings Cup final. It was a chaotic match that saw three players sent off and there was little difference between the two teams.

Other than hitting the post and successfully converting the penalty kick in the shootout, Ronaldo had no significant impact. He fell to his knees in tears when the final whistle sounded.

It’s an understandable feeling because CR7 has actually played a total of 4,969 minutes for club and country this season. That number is more than any of the 25 Portuguese players called up for EURO 2024. And remember, Ronaldo is 39 years old.

In addition to the Kings Cup final, Al-Nassr also lost twice to Al-Hilal this season. Obviously, Ronaldo really tried and excelled, it’s just a shame that Al-Hilah was too strong.

Al-Nassr also could not find any salvation in the AFC Champions League, being eliminated in the quarterfinals against Al Ain. It’s worth mentioning that Ronaldo himself missed hundreds of opportunities.

After a disappointing 2022 World Cup campaign, Ronaldo has rebounded strongly since Roberto Martinez was appointed as Portugal coach. He scored 10 goals in the EURO 2024 qualifiers to repay Martinez’s trust.

Ronaldo won the Golden Boot title at the Saudi Pro League last season. Photo: Al-Nassr© Provided by Lao Dong

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