The end of December marks one of the most historic dates in the Roshn Saudi League, when last year Al Nassr confirmed the signing of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone on to prove a huge success in the Kingdom, both on and off the pitch. With 20 goals and nine assists this season, Ronaldo leads both the race for the RSL Golden Boot and the assists chart at the halfway stage of the campaign.
History in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome @Cristiano to your new home @AlNassrFC pic.twitter.com/oan7nu8NWC— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) December 30, 2022
Here we break down Ronaldo’s year in numbers as the Al Nassr captain heads into 2024 with his team second in the table and a first RSL title well within sight.
Games played – 34
Ronaldo made his RSL debut for Al Nassr on January 23, in the 1-0 victory against Al Ettifaq at Al Awwal Park. Anderson Taslica claimed the game’s only goal.
Games started – 34
Ronaldo has started every RSL match in which he has featured for Al Nassr, never coming off the bench and only ever being subbed off one time, in the 86th minute against Al Shabab earlier this season.
Goals – 34
Ronaldo opened his RSL account on February 3, with the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 2-2 draw at Al Fateh. Fittingly, his last goal was the last RSL goal of 2023, a header in added time of Al Nassr's away match against Al Taawoun.
Assists – 11
Ronaldo may have registered only two assists in his first half season with Al Nassr, but this campaign he has nine already, including his header to create Marcelo Brozovic’s goal against Al Ettifaq in Matchweek 18.
Chances created – 43
While Ronaldo is chasing the RSL’s top-scorer award, he has been integral to Al Nassr’s position as the second-most prolific team in the league so far this season (55 goals).
Hat-tricks – 3
Ronaldo notched a super hat-trick (four goals) in February against Al Wehda, then grabbed another treble two games later away to Damac. The other hat-trick arrived in August, when he opened his 2023-24 RSL account at Al Fateh.
Penalty goals – 11
Ronaldo has been ruthless from the penalty spot, his confidence from 12 yards on full display when he converted twice at champions Al Ittihad on December 26.
Free-kick goals – 2
Ronaldo has struck twice from dead balls outside the area, with his first coming in March when his powerful free-kick levelled the score at home to Abha. His other was a sublime curled effort at Al Awwal Park again, this time against Damac.
Right-footed goals – 23
Proficient with both feet, Ronaldo has scored 70 per cent of his goals with his predominant right.
Left-footed goals – 8
However, Ronaldo never passes up the opportunity on his left side, with 24 per cent of his goals scored with his supposedly weaker foot.
Headed goals – 3
Known as one of the best in history with his head, Ronaldo scored his first RSL header against Al Raed in April, from close range. The second, against Al Fateh, displayed his superb positioning and represented his opening goal of the 2023-24 campaign. He added his third headed goal on the penultimate day of 2023 against Al Taawoun.
Goals outside box – 7
Ronaldo has long had a penchant for spectacular goals from distance, with the strike against Al Shabab – a run and arched finish despite being nudged as he shot – and his second against Al Ahkdood – a beautiful, towering long-range lob - particular standouts.