AL NASSR’S Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring during the Saudi Pro League match against Al Ittihad at the Al Awwal Stadium.—Reuters
AL NASSR’S Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring during the Saudi Pro League match against Al Ittihad at the Al Awwal Stadium.—Reuters

RIYADH: Cristiano Ron­aldo broke the record for the most goals in a Saudi Pro League season when he struck for the 34th and 35th time in Al Nassr’s final game of the campaign.

“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me,” the 39-year-old Portu­guese forward tweeted afterwards. The former Real Madrid and Manche­ster United star struck in first-half stoppage time and again in the 69th minute with a header as Al Nassr defeated Al Ittihad 4-2 at home on Monday.

The previous record for most goals in a single season was the 34 scored by the Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah in 2018-19.

Al Nassr were already assured of a second-placed finish, coming a distant 14 points behind champions Al Hilal.

Ronaldo joined Riyadh-based Al Nassr in December 2022, the start of an influx of overseas players to the Saudi league on lucrative contracts.

Ronaldo, who led Por­tugal to victory at the 2016 Euros, has been selected for the squad for this year’s edition in Germany next month — his 11th international tournament.

He is the most capped player in men’s internati­onal football with 206 app­e­a­rances and has scored a record 128 goals.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2024

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