Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Al-Nassr boss Garcia reveals Ronaldo’s team-mates are treating him differently

Al-Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia believes the rest of the team are starting to understand how to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo after the striker’s impressive four-goal haul.

Ronaldo had poor start to his career in the Middle East after joining the Saudi Pro League side back in December, but he rolled back the years and notched all four of Al-Nassr’s goals in their recent win over Al-Wehda.

His impact in last Thursday’s game came just a fortnight after Garcia had urged his side to “play normally” in the midst of their new forward, who had scored just once in his first three games for the club before his goal glut.

“It is very important that the players play normally and don’t always try to give Cristiano the ball,” Garcia said after Al-Nassr’s defeat against Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup last month. “I told them they had to make the right decisions on the pitch.

“Obviously, when Cristiano or Anderson Talisca are alone and ask for the ball, we have to give them the ball. These two players are capable of making a difference. We have to work on it, have one of them in the area and maybe the other will play outside the area.”

But Garcia believes that Ronaldo and the rest of the Al-Nassr team are working towards a happy medium after the Portuguese star recordd a superb four-goal haul.

Speaking after the win, the Al-Nassr chief said: “Ronaldo has reached a great stage of homogeneity and harmony with his teammates. Over time, his team-mates realised what he wanted and when he will score. I think it was a good night for Cristiano Ronaldo because he scored four goals.”

Ronaldo’s display against Al-Wehda means he has now surpassed his latest milestone after clocking up an incredible 503 league goals.

Al-Nassr’s win over Al-Wehda means Garcia’s team now top the Saudi Pro League ahead of Al-Ittihad on goal difference.

Al-Nassr are looking to win their first domestic title since 2019 with Ronaldo after the former Manchester United star was lured to the Middle East with a huge contract worth in the region of £172m-a-year.

Ronaldo raised eyebrows when he left Europe but was adamant that he had achieved everything he wanted after trophy-laden stints with United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

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