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When Cristiano Ronaldo brought out all his tricks against Al Nassr's biggest rivals

Ryan Sidle

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When Cristiano Ronaldo brought out all his tricks against Al Nassr's biggest rivals

When Cristiano Ronaldo plays against Al Nassr's biggest rivals Al Hilal, it won't be the first time he's faced them and last time he mocked them with his ridiculous skills.

Ronaldo's move to the Middle East means he'll be playing against much worse opposition than he's ever done on a regular basis throughout his whole career.

It didn't start like that of course, playing against Lionel Messi and the rest of the PSG team, in his debut in Saudi Arabia, in a friendly on Thursday night.

The 37-year-old brought out all his tricks against the Ligue 1 side, as he scored twice and impressed, despite a loss for his side.

It's not the first time he's impressed in the country however, as he did in a mid-season friendly back in 2008, against Al Hilal for Manchester United, as you can see in the video below.

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It was United's incredible double winning season, where they wrapped up the Premier League title and the Champions League, beating Chelsea to both.

Ronaldo, then still playing on the wing, scored an incredible 42 goals that season, and also got on the scoresheet in the friendly against Al Hilal.

The hosts actually took the lead, in what was a testimonial for Saudi legend Sami Al-Jaber, who played 268 times for the club, and four times for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2000, with Yasser Al Gahtane scoring.

Ronaldo set up Carlos Tevez for the equaliser, before he headed home from Nani's corner to put his side 2-1 up, having scored 24 goals in actual competitions at that point.

Al Hilal got level when the referee awarded a penalty so soft that it left Sir Alex Ferguson laughing, with Al-Jaber, whose testimonial it was, levelling from the penalty spot.

Bader Al Khoraeshe put the Saudis ahead for the second time, before a 17-year-old Danny Welbeck missed a penalty for the chance to equalise late on.

Ronaldo takes on Al Hilal defenders. Image: Alamy
Ronaldo takes on Al Hilal defenders. Image: Alamy

At the time, United were criticised for taking the friendly in the middle of January, coming just days after a win against Reading in the league.

They were due to face Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup the following weekend and the team were accused of not taking the competition seriously due to the long trip.

United returned in time to defeat Spurs, with Tevez and Ronaldo scoring in a 3-1 victory, after Robbie Keane had put the visitors ahead early on.

Clearly, trips to Saudi Arabia don't do too badly for Ronaldo after all, although the five time Ballon d'Or winner won't get to leave to play Spurs now he plays for Al Nassr.

Ronaldo played for the Saudi Pro XI earlier in the week. Image: Alamy
Ronaldo played for the Saudi Pro XI earlier in the week. Image: Alamy

He had to watch in midweek as Messi scored early on against the Saudi Pro XI, and threatened to make his rival's first game since joining his new team a miserable one.

However, Ronaldo scored twice and earned the Player of the Match award, although still ended up on the losing side, with Christophe Galtier's team winning 5-4.

The crowd were certainly happy with his contribution, giving him a lovely reception after he was subbed off, leaving him looking rather emotional.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pro League

Ryan Sidle
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