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Cristiano Ronaldo Forced Another Manager Out? His Saudi Pro League Club Al-Nassr Has Sacked Head Coach Rudi Garcia

Cristiano Ronaldo Forced Another Manager Out? His Saudi Pro League Club Al-Nassr Has Sacked Head Coach Rudi Garcia

After a fallout with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a sensational move away from Europe, into the oil-rich region of Saudi Arabia. The Portugal national team captain and five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr via the most expensive contract in the history of football, that is, a whooping earning of €200M per year. Since then, the Portuguese had settled in his new life in Asia and regularly contributed goals and assists to his club, but Al-Nassr will now have to worry about finding its next coach, after the team decided to sack manager Rudi Garcia upon poor performances in recent times.

 

Is CR7 the Culprit Again?

Interestingly, Rudi Garcia is not the first manager that was sacked during Ronaldo’s tenure with club and country in the past few years. The leading goal scorer in men’s international football had three, three and two different managers at Juventus (Massimiliano Allegri, Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo), Manchester United (Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag) and Portugal (Fernando Santos and Roberto Martínez) since the year of 2018. These prompted the public to think whether the football megastar had anything to do with the many manager sackings happened during his playing career lately.

Prior to Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer, Rudi Garcia’s Al-Nassr was enjoying the first position in the Saudi Pro League, but a loss to the then second-placed Al-Ittihad and inconsistent results made the team three points adrift the new league leader. The Frenchman started his tenure with the club on 28th June 2022, and achieved a win statistics of 69.23%, that is, 18 victories out of 26 matches managed in all competitions. The 59-year-old had previously managed the Eden Hazard-led Lille to a domestic-double (Ligue 1 and Coupe de France) back in the 2010/2011 Season.

Rudi Garcia’s sacking came days after his Al-Nassr side was held to a goalless draw against Al-Fahya in the Saudi Pro League, in which the French head coach publicly voiced out his dissatisfaction with the team. “The result is bad. I don’t feel satisfied with the players” was his response during the post-match interview. Besides, rumour has it that Cristiano Ronaldo does not share a good relationship with him, leading the masses now cannot help but think this is one of the reasons why the Frenchman is ousted by the club.

 

Zinedine Zidane or Jose Mourinho Next Head Coach of Al-Nassr?

It is worth noting that Saudi Pro League has one of the highest head coach firing rates in the world, with an average of slightly more than four months in their posts, and Al-Nassr will now be led by U19 coach Dinko Jelicic as the interim manager. In regard to this, Al-Nassr and Cristiano Ronaldo took to the Internet to express their appreciation towards Rudi Garcia during his tenure with the nine-time Saudi Pro League champion, with the club and CR7 stating that “AlNassr can announce that Head Coach Rudi Garcia has left the Club by mutual agreement. The board and everyone at AlNassr would like to thank Rudi and his staff for their dedicated work during the past 8 months” and “Pleasure to have worked with you. Wishing you all the best for your future” respectively.

In terms of the next full-time replacement, there were reports that Cristiano Ronaldo’s former managers, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, who is currently without a managerial position and “The Special One” Jose Mourinho have emerged as the favourite to succeed Rudi Garcia in Al-Nassr. Nevertheless, the coaching change is unlikely to happen anytime soon, with the Saudi Pro League only seven games away from concluding this season’s matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo and co. will be taking on Al-Hilal in their next Saudi Pro League game. Do they still stand any chance of closing on league leader Al-Ittihad in the remainder of the season? Only time will tell us that!

 

Ronaldo’s former club Manchester United was held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal despite taking a 2-0 lead. The Red Devils will travel to Spain to face Sevilla again for the second leg of this fixture.

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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