“Cristiano Ronaldo is world class” – Al Hilal coach Jorge Jesus ahead of Al Nassr friendly


Al Hilal head coach Jorge Jesus lavished praise on Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of their friendly against Al-Nassr on Thursday (February 8).

Both sides will return to competitive action after this final friendly fixture of the winter break. The Portuguese icon was out with a muscle injury but is expected to feature against Al-Hilal, which comes as a major boost for the Riyadh-based outfit (via GOAL).

Ronaldo joined the Saudi Pro League in January 2023 after having his contract mutually terminated at Manchester United. Since moving to the Middle East, he’s been extremely influential, with several stars like N’Golo Kante, Neymar, and Fabinho, among others, joining the league last summer.

Speaking about the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Jesus said (via @TheNassrZone):

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a world-class player, and he has done a lot in his football career, but professionalism in Saudi Arabia has become an important thing, and we must reflect a positive image of Saudi sports in front of Al Nassr.”

Ronaldo has been key to his side’s good form this campaign, having netted 24 times and assisting 11 goals in 25 matches across competitions.

Ronaldo and Co. are placed second in the Saudi Pro League, seven points behind leaders Al-Hilal. Their first league fixture following the break is a home match against Al Fateh on Saturday (February 17).

Cristiano Ronaldo rates the Saudi Pro League as more competitive than Ligue 1

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments about the Saudi Pro League’s standing in world football sparked debate, as the 39-year-old claimed it to be more competitive than France’s Ligue 1.

In January, the former Real Madrid striker was presented the Best Goalscorer of the Year and Fans’ Favorite Player prizes at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. Speaking there, he said (via Arab News):

“To be honest, I think the Saudi league is not worse than (the) French league, in my opinion.”

“In the French league I think you have two, three teams at a good level. In Saudi, now I think it’s more competitive. (People) can say whatever they want, it’s just my opinion.”

Several stars in world football, like Kylian Mbappe and Alexandre Lacazette, among many others, currently ply their trade in France.

Edited by Diptanil

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