Ronaldo could defy ban and make Al-Nassr debut today but faces more punishment

704     0
Cristiano Ronaldo isn
Cristiano Ronaldo isn't permitted to play for Al-Nassr this Thursday (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo could reportedly make his Al-Nassr debut today - despite being banned in a decision backed by FIFA.

Before his acrimonious departure from Manchester United was confirmed in November, the English FA handed the 37-year-old striker a two-match suspension and £50,000 fine. A riled-up Ronaldo was filmed slapping a 14-year-old autistic boy's phone out of his hand after United lost 1-0 to Everton on April 9, for which he was also cautioned by police.

But new club Al-Nassr, who the Portuguese megastar signed for last week in a deal which will see him earn a whopping £173million over two-and-a-half years in Saudi Arabia, are desperate for him to make his debut as soon as possible, keen to capitalise on the media attention following his grand unveiling on Tuesday.

The Mail report that a source has told them that there's a '15 per cent chance' that Ronaldo will line up in yellow and blue when Al-Nassr welcome Saudi Pro League rivals Al-Taee to Mrsool Park at 3pm UK time this afternoon. Manager Rudi Garcia is expected to name his starting XI and substitutes around an hour before kick-off which will reveal whether the 'intense last-minute talks' have led to his new No.7 being involved in front of a sell-out crowd in the Saudi capital of Riyad.

Despite the FA in England being the authority which issued Ronaldo with his two-match ban, the suspension must be adhered to worldwide due to FIFA rules. If the five-time Ballon d'Or winner were to ignore his ban, he'd land himself in further hot water and potentially face even stronger punishment.

Man Utd lose seven players and sign three as January transfer window closes eidehiqdqikinvMan Utd lose seven players and sign three as January transfer window closes

However, it's added in the report that Al-Nassr chiefs are examining Ronaldo's international clearance certificate to see if it includes a loophole which would see them avoid losing their new star player for two games. There was no mention of the ban during the ex- Real Madrid, Juventus and Sporting Lisbon hero's first press conference, as Ronaldo used the opportunity to explain his hotly-debated decision to leave European football behind and head to the Middle East.

Ronaldo could defy ban and make Al-Nassr debut today but faces more punishmentThe FA and FIFA want Cristiano Ronaldo to serve his two-match ban with Al-Nassr (AL Nassr Club of Saudi Arabia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Have your say! Should Ronaldo be made to serve his ban? Join the debate in the comments section.

"I'm feeling very good. I'm so proud to make this big decision in my life," the Portugal captain declared. "In Europe, my work is done; I won everything, I played at the most important clubs in Europe and for me now, it's a new challenge. This is a great opportunity, not only in football but also to change the mentality of the new generation.

"I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, in the US and even in Portugal. Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club to develop not only the football but other parts of this amazing country."

Nathan Ridley

Print page


comments powered by Disqus