Cristiano Ronaldo launched a furious tirade towards his own coaching bench at half-time of his Al-Nassr side’s surprise defeat to Al-Wehda in Saudi Arabia.
In the King Cup of Champions semi-final, Al-Nassr were 1-0 down at the break and a visibly upset Ronaldo trudged towards the bench before angrily remonstrating with teammates and the coaching team in frustration.
The Portuguese superstar’s tirade didn’t help as Al-Nassr failed to score in the second half, meaning their newly-promoted opponents claimed a stunning victory to set up a final against Al-Hilal.
In fact, Ronaldo’s day got worse after the break when he was scythed down by Abdullah Al-Hafith, who saw a red card, in the 55th minute but playing against 10 men didn’t help Al-Nassr overturn the deficit.
The 38-year-old’s side were heavy favourites heading into the semi-final, having beaten Al-Wehda 4-0 just two months ago, but failed in their attempt to set up a blockbuster clash in the final against fierce rivals Al-Hilal.
Ronaldo is enduring a rollercoaster ride in Saudi Arabia, scoring plenty of goals but having some lower moments as well. During a 2-0 defeat to Al-Hilal earlier this month, opposition supporters chanted “Messi, Messi!” and waved shirts of the World Cup winner to taunt the Portuguese.
The loss was a blow to Al-Nassr’s hopes of winning the Saudi title, as they now trail leaders Alâ€‘Ittihad by three points, having played a game more.
The veteran striker also appeared to exert his influence in causing the sacking of head coach Rudi Garcia. The former Marseille and Lyon boss was in charge for less than 10 months and departed earlier in April amid reports that Ronaldo had been unhappy with Garcia’s approach during matches and tactical plan.
Spanish publication Diario AS suggested the former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward had told senior figures inside the club that the set-up was not allowing the team to operate to the level it was capable of, resulting in a draw at struggling Al-Feiha in particular.