Al Ettifaq goalkeeper Paulo Victor has hailed Al Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world, revealing that playing against him was a privilege.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed for Al Nassr after the termination of his Manchester United contract by mutual consent, made his debut for his new employers on Sunday, 22 January. Ronaldo did not manage to score but put in an impressive shift as Al Nassr secured a 1-0 victory over Ettifaq.
After the match, Victor admitted that the result was undesirable at Mrsool Park, but claimed that every Ettifaq player could go home with their heads held high after facing Ronaldo.
Paulo Victor (Al Ettifaq goalkeeper):
“For me Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, I have a great admiration for him & his arrival in Saudi is very important. The result is not what we wanted, but we leave here with our heads held high after playing against him."
Speaking to the press, the Brazilian goalkeeper said (via CristianoXtra):“For me Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, I have great admiration for him & his arrival in Saudi is very important. “The result is not what we wanted, but we leave here with our heads held high after playing against him.”
Ronaldo, who bagged a brace while captaining Riyadh All-Star XI in last week’s 5-4 friendly defeat to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), took four shots against Ettifaq on Sunday. He tested the keeper once, created two chances, completed a dribble and played 23 of 27 accurate passes.
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most renowned public icons not only in football but also in the world. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has a massive 538 million followers on Instagram, making him the most followed person on the platform. The 37-year-old footballing legend has fans all over the world, and Saudi Arabia is no exception.
Despite having a relatively restricted football fan following in the country, Saudi Arabia has been completely enamored by the Ronaldo effect. Spanish outlet Marca went to Al Nassr’s official store to survey Ronaldo’s popularity.
"In football there is only one person called Cristiano Ronaldo and there is no one like him. His personality helped him adapt quickly."
Despite not being centrally located, the official club store has enjoyed massive footfall since the superstar’s signing. According to their report, on a good day, 400 Ronaldo shirts are sold via the store, which is huge considering how much they cost. A jersey, all-inclusive, costs close to $100.
Such was the demand at the time of the survey, that only XXXL and kids’ sizes were available at the store, with the other sizes being sold out.
Edited by Sushan Chakraborty