In just the second minute of their AFC Champions League match, Al-Alami were given a penalty. The referee pointed to the spot as soon as Ronaldo was left flat in the box.
The Portuguese symbol indicated to the official that it wasn’t a penalty, nevertheless. He said that he was on the ground due to his own momentum instead than colliding with a rival defender.
After reviewing the ruling, VAR suggested to the referee that he look at the pitchside monitor. The ruling was reversed, and Persepolis benefited from Ronaldo’s sportsmanship.
During his tenure in the Saudi Pro League, Cristiano Ronaldo has demonstrated humility on previous occasions. Had he accepted the penalty, he would have been able to add to his incredible 18 goals and 9 assists in 18 games played this season across all competitions.
With Al-Nassr, Ronaldo is not only putting up impressive stats but also demonstrating his professionalism. In reaction to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s display of sportsmanship on Monday (November 27), fans were gushing with appreciation.
A supporter praised Al-Alami’s captain and likened him to his enduring adversary:
“If it was Messi in Qatar he would never do this. This is why Ronaldo is the greatest of all time.”
Another fan claimed that Messi wouldn’t have pointed out that it wasn’t a foul, suggesting he ‘stole’ penalties at the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
“You will never see Messi doing this by the way, he just likes to steal penalties just like in the World Cup.”
Here’s how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s honesty:
In response to the never-ending GOAT discussion, Anderson Talisca, an attacker for Al-Nassr, stated that he favours Ronaldo. He made a reference to the professionalism of the five-time UEFA Champions League winner:
“I am more Cristiano Ronaldo than Messi. Where he got to and where he is… Of course, he has the gift of God, but he is a monster. He works hard and is very dedicated. He worked for that what it is today.”
Ronaldo, 38, shed light on how he keeps himself in top-notch condition and still feels at the top of his game. He said in January 2022 (via Mirror):
“Genetically I feel like I’m 30 years old. I take great care of my body and my mind. Something I’ve learned recently is that after 33, I believe the body can deliver if you need it, but the real battle is mental.”
That’s not to say Messi, 36, isn’t showing incredible longevity and still rolling back the years at club and international level. He’s made a blistering start to his Inter Miami career with 11 goals and five assists in 14 games.