Rival boss on Ronaldo red: He’s not used to losing


Al Hilal coach Jorge Jesus said Cristiano Ronaldo is so accustomed to winning that he cannot accept defeat after the 39-year-old was sent off for elbowing Al Hilal’s Ali Al-Bulayhi in the closing minutes of Al Nassr’s 2-1 defeat on Monday.

Speaking after the game, Jorge Jesus said: “Ronaldo is one of the most important players in the world and an example for many.

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“But he’s not used to losing in his career, so it is natural for him to lose his head when he loses, as well as for him to lose emotional and mental focus in defeats.

“It’s not easy to play against [Al Hilal’s Kalidou] Koulibaly and Al-Bulayhi, they are the best central defenders in Saudi football. I’m not going to take credit away from Ronaldo, he’s still very strong, he always has been and will continue to be the most important player in the world, he’s an example and a model.”

After receiving his red card, Ronaldo appeared to raise his fist in a punching gesture toward the official, who had already turned his back on the 39-year-old.

Al Nassr expressed their disappointment with Monday’s refereeing on social media, suggesting the game’s outcome was pre-determined.

The club wrote on social media after the game: “You can’t change what was already decided before! Thanks to our fans.”

Al Nassr coach Luis Castro claimed that VAR should have intervened as Ronaldo did not deserve to be sent off.

“It is difficult to talk about the incident in which Ronaldo received the red card,” Castro said.

“We’ve seen several clips throughout this season where Ronaldo was provoked and, after seeing some footage, Ronaldo didn’t do anything that merited sending off. The rival player [Al-Bulayhi] pretended [to have been hit.]

“There was little contact between Cristiano and the rival defender. He caused a scene and the VAR should have called the referee to review the episode of the sending off.”

The defeat is a significant blow to Ronaldo and Al Nassr, who are likely to end the campaign without silverware.

They are out of the domestic cup and the Asian Champions League and sit 12 points behind leaders Al Hilal with seven games left in the season.

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