Ronaldo gets warm welcome in Tehran, helps Al Nassr to win Asia Cup against Persepolis

Celebration post win. [Photo: X/ Cristiano]

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to help Al Nassr defeat Persepolis by a score of 2-0 on Tuesday night in Iran in his Asian Champions League debut.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has won five UEFA Champions League championships, led the Saudi Arabian team to three points in Group E’s opening round.

After the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) imposed a one-game suspension for Persepolis supporters dating back to 2021, the game at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran was played without spectators.

That clearly helped Nassr, who grabbed both goals in the second half against the two-time runners-up, through a Danial Esmaeilifar own goal and a fine strike by defender Mohammed Qassem.

It marked the first time a Saudi club played in Iran since 2016, after the AFC announced a “ground-breaking agreement” earlier this month between the two countries’ federations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties seven years ago, meaning Asian Champions League matches had been since played at neutral grounds.

Earlier, hundreds of football fans welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo in Tehran as the Portugal football player arrived in the Iranian capital with the Al Nassr squad ahead of the AFC Champions League match against Persepolis FC.

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