In his first appearance for Al-Nasr .. Ronaldo could face Messi in friendly way

Saudi Arabia: Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia has said Cristiano Ronaldo will enforce the ban before playing his first match in the Saudi Professional Football League, but could appear for the first time in a meeting in Saudi Arabia against Paris Saint-Germain in Riyadh this month. Ronaldo missed Al-Nasr’s opening match on Friday, as part of a two-match ban by the English Football Association after a phone fell from a fan’s hand after Manchester United lost to Everton last season April. Garcia has confirmed his 37-year veteran player may also be absent from facing Al-Shabab, and could appear for the first time in championship against Al-Ettifaq on 22 January. However, Ronaldo could play against Saint-Germain in a friendly match including players from Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal in a team on January 19. Garcia was quoted as saying by L’Equipe: “(his first game) will not be in the winning jersey. The team will be divided between Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr.” He added: “As Al-Nassr manager, I can’t be happy with this match. As for the development and the follow-up of Paris Saint-Germain and the players of the French team, it’s wonderful, but we have a league match in three days. And he continued: “As regards the times, a better date could have been agreed, but this is not a big problem… We are in head and we are happy. This is a tough tournament to win, but we can’t wait to do it.” Garcia believes Ronaldo’s transfer in Saudi Arabia is similar to the late Brazilian legend Pele joining the New York Cosmos of America, where Cristiano highlighted the victory and increased his Instagram following count by more than ten million followers since joining last month. The former Lille and Olympique Lyonnais manager said he hoped Ronaldo could rediscover the pleasure of playing football after a difficult two months, when he mutually terminated his contract with Manchester United and Portugal were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar. Garcia added: “In the last few months, between Manchester United and the national team and on a personal level, he hasn’t had good moments. If he still enjoys playing it, that would be a great achievement to achieve.” Al-Nasr won 2-0 over Al-Taei last Friday, and Ronaldo watched the match from the stands, and will face Al-Shabab next Saturday. Al-Nasr leads the league with 29 points in 12 matches, and is four points ahead of Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal. (Reuters)