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Ronaldo thanks fans as Al Nassr boss reveals decisive CR7 impact

Cristiano Ronaldo
"Cristiano Ronaldo" by Nathan Congleton is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

CR7 captained Al Nassr to victory on his debut to help his new club return to the top of the Saudi Pro League.

Cristiano Ronaldo has thanked the fans for their ‘incredible support’ after making his Al Nassr debut against Ettifaq on Sunday.

The 37-year-old led the team as captain for his first match as an Al Nassr player. He played the entire match, helping Rudi Garcia’s side grab a crucial 1-0 victory. Brazilian midfielder Talisca scored the decisive goal.

“First game, first win – well done guys. Thanks to all the fans for incredible support,” Ronaldo posted on social media afterward.

Garcia outlines key CR7 role in the win

Speaking to reporters after the 1-0 win, Rudi Garcia remarked on the influence Ronaldo had in his first Saudi Pro League outing.

“It’s a positive addition when you have a player like Ronaldo as he helps to distract the defenders, which is what happened with our goal,” the Al Nassr manager said.

“Today, we created opportunities for him and asked the players to diversify the game between him and Talisca. We must not forget that he participated in the [exhibition match against] Paris St Germain and did not get enough rest.

“Even with the presence of Ronaldo, it is difficult to win the Saudi League because of … the strength of the competitors.”

Following Sunday’s victory, Al Nassr have retaken first place from Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League. They stand one point ahead of their Riyadh rivals, but with a game in hand.

Ronaldo could return to action on Thursday for a Saudi Super Cup semi-final match between Al-Ittihad and Al Nassr.