CRISTIANO RONALDO’S Al-Nassr played in front of a bizarre set of cardboard cut-outs in Iran in a behind-closed-doors Asian Champions League opener.
Saudi Arabian sides have refused to play in Iran since 2016 when a group of Iranian militiamen called the Basij attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
Cristiano Ronaldo played a behind closed doors game in Iran on TuesdayReuters
AFPCardboard cut-outs of fans were placed on seats around the stadium[/caption]
But relations between Saudi and Iran have improved in recent times.
This led Ronaldo and Co to head to the country for their AFC Champions League opener against Persepolis.
Ronaldo-mania hit Iran as the superstar was swarmed by ecstatic fans when Al-Nassr touched down in the Middle Eastern nation earlier this week.
But none of them were able to actually watch their hero play football, with no supporters allowed in the Azadi Stadium.
Fortunately for them, they didn’t miss much as Ronaldo suffered a frustrating evening.
Al-Nassr did claim a 2-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Abdulrahman Ghareeb and Mohammed Qassem.
The stadium ban was a punishment from the AFC after Persepolis posted an offensive tweet about an Indian side in 2020.
And in scenes harking back to lockdown days, the club made the strange decision to fill the ground with cardboard cut-outs of their fans.
Ronaldo struggled to have any impact on the gameReuters
Al-NassrAl-Nassr’s bus was swarmed by fans trying to get a glimpse of Ronaldo[/caption]
But it was a match to forget for Ronaldo as he made little impact on the match.
That is quite the departure from his Saudi Pro League form – where he has scored seven goals in five games.
Al-Nassr sit sixth in their domestic league after four wins and two defeats from their opening six games.
Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in 26 games since arriving in Saudi.