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Cristiano Ronaldo banned for reacting to ‘Messi’ chants1 min read

Cristiano Ronaldo banned for reacting to ‘Messi’ chants<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">1</span> min read</span>

Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been handed a one-match ban and fined 30,000 Saudi Riyals (£6,300) by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) for “provoking fans” after the team’s Saudi Pro League victory over Al-Shabab.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 win in Riyadh, Al Shabab supporters taunted the Portugal captain by chanting “Messi,” the name of Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi.

In response, the 39-year-old forward cupped his hand to his ear and made a gesture towards the fans.

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

The ban means he will miss an upcoming match for Al-Nassr. Despite the setback, Ronaldo’s impact in the league has been significant since joining Al-Nassr on a free transfer from Manchester United in December 2022, reportedly securing the biggest football salary in history.

Ronaldo, who has scored an impressive 20 goals in 22 league games this season, opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the Al-Shabab clash.

However, Al-Shabab mounted a comeback twice, securing a 3-2 victory with an 87th-minute winner from Talisca.

Ronaldo’s move to the Saudi Pro League has attracted attention, with other top-notch European players following suit.

The seasoned forward’s historic rivalry with Lionel Messi, which saw them clash in La Liga, has continued even after both players moved to different leagues. Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain and later joined Inter Miami in the Major League Soccer (MLS), while Ronaldo returned to Manchester United before making his move to the Saudi Pro League.

Ronaldo’s absence will be a blow to Al-Nassr as they aim to maintain their position in the league, currently sitting in second place behind Al-Hilal.