Ronaldo banned for gesture after ‘Messi’ chants


Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo has received a one-match ban for “inciting fans” after the Saudi Pro League victory against Al-Shabab.

After Al Shabab supporters chanted “Messi” – a reference to Ronaldo’s long-standing rival Lionel Messi – following Sunday’s 3-2 defeat in Riyadh, Portugal captain Ronaldo, aged 39, responded by cupping his hand to his ear and making a gesture towards the fans.

As a consequence, he has been fined 30,000 Saudi Riyals (£6,300) by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).

The SAFF disciplinary and ethics committee stated that Ronaldo cannot appeal against this decision.

Despite opening the scoring from the penalty spot, Ronaldo’s team, Al-Nassr, faced a comeback from Al-Shabab, who scored twice to turn the game around before Talisca secured a dramatic 87th-minute victory.

Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr from Manchester United in December 2022 on a free transfer, reportedly earning the highest football salary in history, has scored 20 goals in 22 league games this season.

Al-Nassr currently sits in second place in the league table, behind Al-Hilal.