Cristiano Ronaldo 'under Saudi Arabia investigation' and could be disciplined

Cristiano Ronaldo was fired up after Al-Nassr’s win. (Image: Getty)

Cristiano Ronaldo could face disciplinary action after appearing to make an obscene gesture following Al-Nassr’s latest win in the Saudi Pro League. ‘CR7’ was again on the scoresheet at Al-Shabab, grabbing his 34th goal of the season from the penalty spot as his side won 3-2 to keep their title hopes alive.

And the 39-year-old was clearly pumped up after the final whistle, having been taunted by home fans during the game. Ronaldo was subjected to chants of ‘Messi’ throughout, and seemingly reacted after his side sealed the points courtesy of a late goal from Souza Conceicao.

The Portuguese icon appeared to pointedly cup his ear towards Al-Shabab supporters and place his hand in front of his pelvic area. His behaviour didn’t seem to be caught by the television cameras, but mobile phone footage taken by those in attendance has since been posted on social media.

And now the league’s star attraction could face possible sanctions for his actions. According to newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, the Saudi Arabia Football Federation has opened an investigation into the alleged incident.

Ronaldo scores his first-half penalty. (Image: Getty)

League bosses are likely to greet the news with trepidation, given top-flight football in Saudi has already been under the spotlight of late. Despite the huge spending spree last summer, the notion has failed to take off in the country, with games plagued by poor attendances.

One of the most significant captures, Jordan Henderson from Liverpool, also left Al-Ettifaq for Ajax less than six months after signing. The futures of the likes of Karim Benzema and Roberto Firmino have also been the subject of speculation, with both players seemingly unhappy at their respective clubs.

Ronaldo however, has been a revelation since his much publicised move following the 2022 World Cup, scoring 48 times in 54 club appearances. And any negative publicity around their league’s prize asset would be untimely to the country’s football authorities.

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The Real Madrid icon has long denied holding any personal animosity towards Lionel Messi, despite the ongoing frenzied debate over which of the two deserves the title as the game’s best ever. But earlier this year, he appeared to make a dig at the Argentinian when he argued the Saudi Pro League was as good as Ligue 1.

Messi, 36, spent two seasons with PSG before moving to Inter Miami last year. But in December he won a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or crown, with Ronaldo behind him in second place with five wins.