A gesture of fair play by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Asian Champions League has gone around the world in recent hours. The Al-Nassr star surprised everyone when in the second minute of the match against Iranian team Persepolis this Monday he told the referee not to award a penalty after the Portuguese fell inside the area.
Opposing defenders heatedly protested the maximum penalty and insisted on Ronaldo's finger gesture. After a brief chat with the referee, the Chinese Ning Ma went to consult the VAR and agreed with the former Real Madrid footballer, reversing his decision. An image that surprised because precisely Cristiano, throughout his career, had a reputation for dropping with some ease in the area, where then from eleven meters he is lethal.
Al-Nassr praised his soccer player for "showing a lot of sportsmanship" in that decision.
What the Arab soccer star did not know is that after that action his team would suffer so much for the rest of the match. The expulsion of Ali Lajimi - Laporte's partner in the center of defense - in the 17th minute conditioned the Saudis. However, they had the advantage of already qualifying for the round of 16 of the continental competition.
The score did not move (0-0) and, with the point achieved, Al-Nassr secured first place in group E. The negative note was that Ronaldo had to leave the field of play in the last minutes due to neck pain after a hard fall in the fight for an aerial ball.
At 38 years old, Cristiano continues drilling nets, now in Saudi Arabia. This season he has scored 18 goals in 19 games in all competitions, which allows Al-Nassr to fight for the title of the Saudi Pro League, a competition that is now led by the Al HIlal of the injured Neymar, the former Sevilla goalkeeper Bono or the ex-blaugrana Malcolm.