After joining Al Nasr in January, Cristiano Ronaldo will end his first season in Saudi Arabia without a trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first season in Saudi Arabia will end without a trophy as his side Al-Nasr was beaten by Al-Ittihad in the final round for the league title.
Ronaldo arrived in Riyadh in January after his contract was terminated by English Premier League powerhouse Manchester United and they had to settle for second place in the 16-team Saudi Arabian league.
A 1-1 draw with Al-Nasser on Saturday meant that Al-Ithad’s 3-0 win at Al-Fayha gave the Jeddah side a five-point lead with a game to play and their first since 2009. League title.
Al-Nasr dominated in the eastern city of Dammam but fell behind just before the break as Yusuf Nayakt scored from close range to equalise. A superb shot from former Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustav equalized for Al-Nasr after 56 minutes.
Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 16 league games since making his debut in January, but this time he could not find the winner and Gustavo had a strike ruled out for offside with 10 minutes remaining in the second half.
Al Ittihad won easily thanks to two goals from Brazilian forward Romarinho as well as a third-minute strike from Ahmed Sharahili. The team, which is led by former Wolverhampton and Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo, secured its ninth league title overall.
“I want to thank the players and the fans for their support this season and everyone has worked so hard since the beginning,” Santo said. “The early goal was very important and after we scored we were set.”
Defending champions Al Hilal moved up to third with a 3-0 win at Abha.
Al Hilal won the Saudi Arabian Men’s Football Cup on 12 May, defeating Al Wahda on penalties in the final. Al-Wahida knocked out Nasr in the semi-finals.