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Honest Cristiano Ronaldo Rejects a Penalty He Is Awarded in the AFC Champions League as Al-Nassr Qualify for the Knockout Round in 2023/2024

Honest Cristiano Ronaldo Rejects a Penalty He Is Awarded in the AFC Champions League as Al-Nassr Qualify for the Knockout Round in 2023/2024

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr sealed a spot in the Last 16 of the 2023/2024 AFC Champions League when they secured a goalless draw against Persepolis F.C from the Iran Pro League. Although no goals were scored in the Matchday 5 fixture of Group E, the game was nothing short of dramatic, since the 38-year-old captain Ronaldo rejected a spot kick that the home side were originally awarded due to a non-foul moment and his team went down to 10 men after 17 minutes into the match. Al-Nassr would go on to qualify for the next phase of the AFC Champions League with 13 points out of a possible 15 after five group matches.


A Rejected Penalty by Ronaldo and a Red Card to Al-Nassr

The Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League fixture is made up of winners from each of the ten groups as well as three best second-placed teams each from the East and West Regions. Hence, coming into this AFC Champions League fixture, Al-Nassr were pretty much guaranteed a spot in the Last 16 of the competition, since the closest contender Persepolis F.C. from the Persian Gulf Pro League only had 7 points while the rest of the pack such as Tajikistan Higher League’s FC Istiklol and Qatar Stars League’s Al-Duhail SC collected 2 and 1 points after four Matchdays respectively. Ronaldo’s side took on Persepolis F.C. Al-Awwal Park in hopes of securing an automatic qualification to the next round.

As soon as the game started, a controversial moment occurred inside the Persepolis F.C.’s penalty box where the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was seemingly brought down by the opponents. Referee Ma Ning initially awarded Al-Nassr a penalty as a consequence, but Ronaldo showcased his unreal sportsmanship by revealing to the match official that he was not fouled during the play, and that a spot kick was absolutely unnecessary. Ma Ning then took to the pitchside monitor and decided that his decision should be overturned. Ronaldo’s actions were applauded by both sets of fans as a result.

The drama of this AFC Champions League fixture did not stop at Ronaldo’s nullified penalty, as his team were forced to play with 10 men after less than 20 minutes into the game, following Ali Lajami’s red card. The 27-year-old was given his marching orders due to a reckless challenge on Milad Sarlak, and his unwise move almost costed his side the game, as the 10-man Al-Nassr only managed to have six shots in the 90 minutes plus added time against Persepolis F.C.’s 12. Fortunately to Al-Nassr, their visitors could not find a goal despite having an advantage in numbers, and the former booked their places in the knockout phase of the AFC Champions League with a draw.

Check This Out: With Inter Miami’s Denial, Is the Last Dance of Ronaldo vs. Messi in February 2024 Confirmed?


Through to the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League as Group E Winners

The goalless result gave Al-Nassr 13 points after five Matchdays in Group E in the AFC Champions League, meaning they will qualify to the Round of 16 as the winners of the group, alongside others such as Al Ain FC from the UAE Pro League, Al-Ittihad Club from the Saudi Pro League, Pohang Steelers from the K League 1. The rest of the 12 spots will come from automatic qualification spots as group winners and the best second-placed teams in both regions at six each.

You May Also Like: Unstoppable Cristiano Ronaldo Joins Romelu Lukaku as the Joint Top Scorer of the 2024 Euro Qualifiers with a Strike Against Liechtenstein


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What Is Next for Al-Nassr After Their Successful AFC Champions League Qualification?

With their all-important AFC Champions League Round of 16 spot secured, Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr will welcome a crucial match in the Saudi Pro League next Matchday, as they are set to travel to King Fahd International Stadium for the battle of top spot against Al-Hilal. Apart from getting a clearer picture as to who will win the league title at the end of the 2023/2024 Season, the matchup will also see two of the most in-form and best teams in the Saudi Arabia top-flight football going up against each other.

Al-Hilal are currently the top team in the Saudi Pro League with 38 points out of a possible 42, while Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr are trailing 4 points behind. Stay tuned to if you are interested to know about all the actions of this match as well as every other games in the world of football and other major sports!

Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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