Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar who plays for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, made headlines after he gave away his medal to a young fan of Al-Hilal, the rival team that defeated his side 2-0 in the Riyadh Season Cup final on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
The Riyadh Season Cup was a four-team tournament that featured Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Shabab, and Al-Ittihad. The teams played each other once in a round-robin format, with the top two teams advancing to the final.
Al-Hilal, the reigning Saudi Pro League champions, topped the group with three wins out of three, scoring 10 goals and conceding none. Al-Nassr, who had signed Ronaldo from Juventus in 2023, finished second with two wins and one loss.
The final, held at the King Fahd International Stadium, was a one-sided affair, as Al-Hilal scored twice in the first half through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Salem Al Dawsari. Ronaldo, who turned 39 during the week, was unable to inspire his team, who failed to register a single shot on target.
Al-Hilal lifted the trophy, which was delivered by WWE legend The Undertaker before the match, in front of their jubilant fans, who chanted “Messi, Messi, Messi” to mock Ronaldo.
Ronaldo Gifts His Medal to a Young Al-Hilal Fan
After the match, Ronaldo received his runner-up medal from the organizers, but he did not keep it for long. He spotted a young Al-Hilal fan in the stands, who was wearing a blue scarf and holding a sign that read “Ronaldo, you are the best”.
Ronaldo approached the fan, took off his medal, and handed it to him, along with a hug and a smile. The fan was overjoyed, as he thanked Ronaldo and kissed the medal.
The gesture was captured on camera and went viral on social media, where it sparked mixed reactions from fans and pundits.
Some Praise Ronaldo for His Sportsmanship and Generosity
Some fans praised Ronaldo for his sportsmanship and generosity, saying that he showed respect and kindness to his opponents and their supporters. They also commended him for making a young fan’s dream come true, and for being a role model for children.
Some examples of positive comments are:
- “Ronaldo is a class act. He respects his rivals and their fans. He made that kid’s day. He is a legend on and off the pitch.”
- “What a beautiful gesture by Ronaldo. He is a humble and generous person. He knows how to win and lose with grace. He is an inspiration for everyone.”
- “Ronaldo is the best. He is not only a great player, but also a great human being. He has a big heart. He loves his fans and he loves football.”
Others Criticize Ronaldo for His Provocation and Disappointment
Others criticized Ronaldo for his provocation and disappointment, saying that he showed disrespect and arrogance to his own team and their fans. They also accused him of being a sore loser, and of trying to steal the spotlight from Al-Hilal’s victory.
Some examples of negative comments are:
- “Ronaldo is a disgrace. He disrespected his own team and their fans. He should have kept his medal and congratulated Al-Hilal. He is a selfish and arrogant person.”
- “What a pathetic gesture by Ronaldo. He is a sore loser. He can’t accept defeat. He tried to ruin Al-Hilal’s celebration. He is a bad sport.”
- “Ronaldo is the worst. He is not only a bad player, but also a bad human being. He has a small ego. He hates his rivals and he hates football.”
Ronaldo’s Future at Al-Nassr Remains Uncertain
Ronaldo’s future at Al-Nassr remains uncertain, as he has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer. He joined the Saudi club in 2023, signing a two-year contract worth $120 million, making him the highest-paid player in the world.
However, his first season at Al-Nassr has been marred by injuries, poor form, and controversy. He has scored only 12 goals in 25 appearances, and has been involved in several incidents, such as rubbing an Al-Hilal scarf against his crotch, and walking off the pitch to chants of “Messi, Messi, Messi”.
According to reports, Ronaldo is unhappy at Al-Nassr, and wants to return to Europe, where he has received offers from several clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ronaldo has not commented on his future, but he has hinted that he is not satisfied with his current situation. He recently posted a cryptic message on his Instagram account, saying “Sometimes the best answer is to be quiet”.