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July 14, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Al-Nassr for the pre-season

Cristiano Ronaldo doing exercises in Al Nassr training

Ronaldo has returned to work with his Al-Nassr teammates this week and it seems the Portuguese forward is more than ready to lead his team to more trophies in the 2023-24 campaign...

On the day a beaming Cristiano Ronaldo joined up with his Al-Nassr teammates for a pre-season training camp in the sunny Algarve, Manchester United was making hard work of a pre-season friendly in Oslo under torrential rain. Without an out-and-out goal scorer, the Red Devils failed to trouble their Championship opponents Leeds United for most of the game and would fly back to Manchester with more questions than answers despite winning. By contrast, Ronaldo had racked up a handful of goals during his first training session and looked genuinely happy to be back among the Al-Nassr squad. How times change...

Cristiano Ronaldo - His 14 goals for Al Nassr so far:

United might wish they could turn back time

The reality is that the decision to let Ronaldo leave Old Trafford may well come back to haunt United this season with the club starting the new campaign at 10/1 in the latest football betting odds to win the Premier League title.

What's more, is that anyone betting on Premier League top goalscorer markets will see no player from the club being seriously tipped to win the award with Marcus Rashford the best priced at a long 16/1. The expectation is that a lack of proven goalscorers at Old Trafford will ensure that United are unable to stop their neighbours Manchester City from winning a fourth consecutive top-flight trophy.

Would those odds have been lower had Manchester United's hierarchy done more to salvage their relationship with Ronaldo after the World Cup? The answer is certainly yes but time has moved on with Ronaldo's focus purely on trying to win the Saudi Pro League this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo watching Al-Nassr pre-season friendly in the Algarve

The incentives driving Ronaldo on

Without question, it would have been a bitter end to the 2022/2023 campaign for Ronaldo after Al-Nassr came second in the league behind Al-Ittihad. While Ronaldo's contribution was a predictably impressive one, with 14 goals in just 16 games, the truth is that this would have served as little consolation for a man driven to win any competition his team is playing in. Naturally, after such a disappointing end to the campaign, questions were asked about Ronaldo's desire to return to the Middle East and give the Saudi Pro League another go.

However, the 38-year-old has begun pre-season in arguably the best physical shape of his professional career and looks capable of leading the line for any team in world football. This suggests that Al-Nassr will now have the firepower from the start to go one better this campaign and win the league.

In addition to this, with Euro 2024 fast approaching, Ronaldo will be desperate to retain his nation's captaincy. Ultimately, this means that the attacker will have to be at the heart of everything Al-Nassr does this season in order to convince new coach Roberto Martinez to put his faith in a 39-year-old when the tournament starts to take Portugal to Euro glory.

Essentially, Ronaldo's circumstances bode well for Al-Nassr fans as the Portuguese forward is not short of incentive to be the league's most productive player. The old adage dictates that to be successful, you should start as you mean to go; if Cristiano Ronaldo's current demeanour and physique are anything to go by, this season promises to be a record-breaking one.

Cristiano Ronaldo pulling his shorts up during training for Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr is a pre-season friendly on July 25, against PSG. You can watch PSG vs Al Nassr, Real Madrid vs Milan, Tottenham vs West Ham, Manchester United vs Lyon, MLS All Star vs Arsenal and Karlsruher vs Liverpool, all matches provided from our football live game pages.

Al Nassr next game:
PSG vs Al Nassr
kick-off time (25-07-2023):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 16:20
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+5.30: 15:50
Saudi Arabia
(Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+3: 13:20
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 12:20
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 11:20
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 07:20
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 06:20
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 03:20

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo scoring for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia




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