Cristiano Ronaldo had a rough Tuesday. His team, Al-Nassr, lost 2-0 against fourth-place Al-Hilal, missing a chance to put pressure on leader Al-Ittihad in the title race. On a personal level, the Portuguese ace also faced heavy criticism for two actions: a WWE headlock against an opponent and a gesture labeled as an "indecent act" that has led some people to call for the Saudi government to deport him.
Fans want Cristiano Ronaldo deported from Saudi Arabia
During the game, Al-Hilal did a fantastic job of frustrating CR7, and the Portuguese didn't hide his feelings. A clear example of this was his foul against midfielder Gustavo Cuéllar - a martial arts lock that slammed his rival to the ground.
Cristiano Ronaldo deu um golpe de MMA no Cuellar. O árbitro deu amarelo.Quem era o árbitro? Aquele mesmo de Brasil x Croácia... pic.twitter.com/iqSqM1VFfX
— Leo Morato (@oleomorato) April 19, 2023
Guest referee Michael Oliver booked him for the behavior.
However, the most controversial event occurred once the game was over. When Cristiano Ronaldo was leaving the pitch, several Al-Hilal fans taunted him chanting, "Messi, Messi!" The player was not happy and supposedly challenged the supporters by touching his genitals.
Et la réaction honteuse de Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/fpFuPeYplt— Loguito Fcb (@Loguito6) April 18, 2023
— Out Of Context Football (@nocontextfooty) April 19, 2023
The incident was caught on camera and several Saudi citizens labeled Cristiano's conduct as "scandalous, immoral and disgraceful." A doctor in International Law named Nouf Bint Ahmed even asked local authorities to deport the player.
"Even if Al-Hilal fans provoked Ronaldo, he failed to respond to them," the lawyer said. His behavior is a crime. A publicly indecent act, a crime that is punished with arrest and deportation if a foreigner commits it."
لست متابعة للشأن الرياضي
حتى ولو استفز جمهور الهلال #رونالدو
لم يوفّق في الرد عليهم
السلوك الصادر من #رونالدو يعتبر جريمة
فعل فاضح علني وهي من الجرائم المستوجبة
للتوقيف ، والإبعاد ( الترحيل ) إذا وقعت من أجنبي
سنتقدم بعريضة للنيابة العامة بهذا الشأن pic.twitter.com/qnyDJZJKS0
— Prof. Nouf Bint Ahmed (@NoufPoet) April 18, 2023
Of course, Al-Nassr denies any wrongdoing on Cristiano Ronaldo's part. They released a statement through sports journalist Muhammad Al-Enezi, stating that the player's gesture had nothing to do with the Al-Hilal supporters but was due to an injury he picked up during the game.
"I have information from Al-Nassr. Ronaldo suffered an injury and did not make any offensive movements. He received a tough blow in a very sensitive area and was in pain even after the final whistle," Al-Enezi said.