Al-Nassr midfielder Luiz Gustavo has explained how Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival has made life difficult for the Saudi Pro League table-toppers.
Cristiano Ronaldo moved away from European football for the first time by joining Al-Nassr on a free transfer last month. He is now the highest-paid footballer in the world as he earns £173 million a year in Saudi Arabia.
While Ronaldo's arrival was a cause of excitement for fans in the Middle East, the forward struggled to hit the ground running. It took him three competitive games to net his first goal for Al-Aalami.
The Portuguese icon converted a last-minute penalty to earn Al-Nassr a point against Al-Fateh on Friday, February 3. However, it is worth noting that Rudi Garcia's side have only won one of the three matches the forward has played in.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw against Al-Fateh, Gustavo admitted that Ronaldo's arrival has made things difficult for the Riyadh-based club. The Al-Aalami midfielder explained that opponents have extra motivation to beat the Saudi Pro League table-toppers due to the 38-year-old's presence. He said [via RT Arabic]:
"Certainly the presence of Ronaldo makes matches more difficult for us as all teams seek to participate against him in the best possible way, and he gives motivation to everyone."
Gustavo, though, insisted that Ronaldo's presence has also helped the players at Al-Nassr. He added:
"His presence at Al-Nassr gives a great advantage to the group because we learn from him every day, given the great capabilities he possesses, both technically and physically."
Ronaldo has made a slow start to his life in Saudi Arabia, but Gustavo is positive that he will emerge victorious. The former Bayern Munich star also feels the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has taken the pressure off him by netting his first goal for the club. He said:
"Cristiano Ronaldo was created for challenges, and he always succeeds in them, and everyone here is waiting for what he will present, and he has already scored his first goal, and thus he got rid of the pressure."
What did Cristiano Ronaldo say after scoring his first goal for Al-Nassr?
Cristiano Ronaldo notably took to Instagram to express his delight at scoring his first goal for Al-Aalami. He also heaped praise on his teammates for managing to claim a point from their match against Al-Fateh. He wrote:
"Happy to have scored my first goal in the Saudi league and great effort by whole team to achieve an important draw in a very difficult match!"
Ronaldo will now be hopeful of adding more goals to his tally.
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