It’s like riding a bike! Cristiano Ronaldo cheers for his new side Al-Nassr while exercising on an EXERCISE BIKE in the team’s changing rooms after watching the first half from the stands, after he missed his debut due to a ban in two games
Cristiano Ronaldo was in a VIP box as Al-Nassr won 2-0 in their first match since his signing – but was out of his seat for the entire second half as he watched the game while on an exercise bike in the changing room
The Portuguese veteran, 37, moved to the Saudi Arabian side on a free transfer in late December after his Manchester United contract was torn up following an interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo, who was unable to make his debut on Friday as Al-Nassr cruised past Al-Ta’ee, watched as his new team-mates took all three points at the King Saud University Stadium to move four points at the top of the Saudi Pro League table.
Cristiano Ronaldo watched the second half of Al-Nassr’s 2-0 win over Al-Ta’ee while riding an exercise bike in the changing rooms.
Ronaldo (left) watched from the stands during the first half as Al-Nassr beat Al-Ta’ee 2-0
The Portuguese forward, 37, who joined the Saudi Arabian side in a mega-money deal in December, looked on as his team-mates took all three points
A social media video from Al-Nassr’s English-speaking Twitter account showed the second goal they scored, with former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina playing a long kick to Brazilian forward Talisca, who finished full of courage to seal the win.
Footage from Al-Nassr’s Instagram page showed Ronaldo riding an exercise bike while applauding his new strike partner Talisca for scoring the Saudi side’s second and final goal.
Ronaldo missed out on his much-anticipated debut in Riyadh as he was forced to serve a two-match FA ban for smashing a young Everton fan’s phone while at United.
So instead, the forward watched with friend Ricky Regufe. He arrived at Mrsool Park with his team-mates in tracksuits and negotiated ankle-deep puddles as they entered the stadium 90 minutes before the scheduled kick-off.
Video from Al-Nassr’s Twitter account showed Talisca scoring their second at Mrsool Park
His possible debut on Thursday was postponed due to heavy rain in Riyadh
Heavy rain caused power issues at the Al-Nassr ground and forced the postponement
His image, showing him wearing his new club shirt, with both his fists raised, showing off his biceps, was given pride of place next to a giant screen and opposite the executive box for viewing of all.
But after calling Saudi Arabia ‘South Africa’ during his arrival press conference, the Portuguese made a second faux pas on Friday night.
As the national anthem of his adopted country plays and the teams line up, the banned striker chats with a man in the VIP box. Then he sat down as the anthem played and quickly pushed to get up.
Heavy rain continued Friday but groundskeepers worked with squeegees and pitchforks to try to clear the water and make the surface playable.
Despite heavy rain, Al-Nassr’s clash with Al Ta’ee went ahead at Mrsool Park on Friday
He then stood with other dignitaries in the final seconds as the anthem played. The pitch resembles quicksand in the pouring rain and the superstar striker will not be happy playing in the hot conditions as sliding tackles fly and the ball repeatedly sticks to the mud.
Despite claims that the 28,000 seater stadium was sold out, Mrsool Park was half empty with swathes of empty yellow seats.
A club source said this was possibly due to the news that Ronaldo had been banned, as first reported by Sportsmailreached fans as well as heavy rain and cold temperatures.
Ronaldo was joined by his personal manager Ricardo Regufe (right), who negotiated the £175million-a-year deal that took the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to Al-Nassr
Spectators chanted the name of their new hero as his image appeared on the stadium screens and he waved back to them from behind a glass screen.
He was joined in the stands by his personal manager Ricardo Regufe, who reportedly held talks over his move to Al-Nassr.
According to Portuguese news outlet Publico, Regufe has replaced Ronaldo’s long-serving agent Jorge Mendes as the former striker’s most trusted confidant.