In the Asia Cup final between Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey was filled with twists and turns.
Despite facing challenges, Ronaldo emerged as a leading figure in the victory by scoring a brace.
Al-Nassr’s performance in the final only intensified during the last half-hour of the match. An intriguing moment arose when Michael celebrated by mimicking Ronaldo’s signature gesture after opening the scoring just six minutes into the second half.
With 16 minutes remaining in regular time, Ronaldo showcased his brilliance by leveling the score, expertly connecting with a cross from Sultan Al Ghannam. The match eventually extended into extra time, affording Ronaldo the opportunity to clinch a dramatic 2-1 victory for Al-Nassr with a crucial header during a counter-attack.
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The climax, however, was bittersweet. In the 97th minute, Ronaldo sealed the deal for Al-Nassr, but shortly thereafter, he was seen being taken off the field on a cart, his eyes filled with tears, due to a knee injury. This incident brought back memories of a similar injury to his left knee during the 2016 European Cup final. The parallels were unmistakable, as Ronaldo experienced moments of anticipation until the final whistle blew.
Unlike that previous final, Ronaldo felt an added sense of responsibility for this triumph, given his exceptional performance. With an impressive tally of 6 goals, he emerged as the tournament’s top scorer, earning both the MVP title and netting a brace in the final match. His contributions were central to Al-Nassr’s success in his inaugural tournament with the club.
The celebration was marred by the uncertainty surrounding Ronaldo’s injury. As he awaited a CT scan to assess the extent of the damage, the sight of him participating in the jubilant celebrations offered a glimmer of hope that the injury might not be severe.