Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in Saudi Arabia but his Al-Nassr side are trailing in the wake of Al-Hilal, who have a seven-point lead after winning 15 games in a row - all without the injured Neymar. - soocer442
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Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in Saudi Arabia but his Al-Nassr side are trailing in the wake of Al-Hilal, who have a seven-point lead after winning 15 games in a row – all without the injured Neymar.

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Personality-wise, Cristiano Ronaldo’s romp in Saudi Arabia is proceeding splendidly, but he presumably did not anticipate admiration for Aleksandar Mitrovic. A fifteenth-place finisher in the Saudi Pro League net-buster rankings has been the favorite son of Portugal, but a glimpse at the league table dampens the mood. Al-Nassr, the club he joined for £175 million per season with aspirational goals that propelled them into the international spotlight, are currently in second place in the division, seven points behind Al-Hilal.

 

 

Not at all terrible. However, Ronaldo is troubled by the fact that his accomplishments, whether they be a clinical hat-trick or a marvelous 40-yard assist, are insignificant in comparison to Al-Hilal’s comprehensive dominance.

Al-Hilal’s form across all competitions is a compelling narrative, with a streak of 15 victories and a streak of 23 matches without a loss. Over the course of the previous fifteen matches, they have scored 44 goals while conceding only two. Furthermore, Harry Maguire is not present in the defense.

 

Even more astonishing is the fact that for the past twelve games, they have been without Neymar, their extravagant £130 million-per-season indulgence. Considering that their performance has only improved since he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury, you feel sorry for whoever authored the check.

 

Instead, former Fulham player Mitrovic, who joined for £46 million in the summer and has scored 13 goals, has propelled them to the lead. Robust enterprise.

 

Four prominent clubs, all of which were owned by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, engaged in an arms race during the summer to attract the most expensive men from across Europe.

 

Numerous players, including Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, and Riyad Mahrez, joined an ambitious venture that already included Ronaldo upon his arrival in 2022. Al-Ittihad, which finished first in the previous season, and Al-Ahli, another major club, recruited star-studded personnel. Al-Ettifaq, led by Steven Gerrard, joined a secondary group that was also making moves.

 

However, in football terms, they may now be questioning whether their efforts have been in futile, as Al-Hilal leads by seven points and is annihilating opponents left, right, and center.

 

What has Al-Hilal accomplished? Mitrovic’s goals are bolstered by the contributions of Malcom, a former Barcelona player, and Salem Al-Dawsari, an established league star.

 

The Al-Hilal team’s structure would not appear out of place at the highest table in Europe. In their 3-0 victory over nearest rivals Al-Nassr at the beginning of December, Al-Hilal utilized thirteenth-place Ballon d’Or finisher Yassine Bounou, a two-time Europa League champion.

 

In the interim, their attack featured Kalidou Koulibaly up front, Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the middle of the midfield, Malcon in the advanced position, and Mitrovic at the cutting edge.

 

It signifies a harmonious and well-balanced side that has successfully assimilated the diverse players and influences that have entered.

 

Perhaps that is the aspect of Saudi Arabia that individuals tend to overlook. Although the wealthiest are stocked with half-world talents, they continue to receive support from more frequent participants. It is difficult to unite a group of egos around a common vision with players of inferior status. Al-Hilal would benefit from the guidance of Jorge Jesus, who has presided over the team effectively in the past, guiding them to a 25-match winning streak during his tenure in 2018/19.

 

Therefore, notwithstanding Ronaldo’s utmost endeavors, his personal brilliance has proven insufficient.

 

Ronaldo has been unable to break through in the Middle East, despite having Sadio Mane, Marcel Brozovic, and Aymeric Laporte on the supporting ensemble. This is primarily due to their disappointing start to the season, which included losses to Al-Ettifaq and Al-Taawoun.

 

With 19 games remaining, Al-Nassr are at least seven points behind; that is a respectable deficit to close. However, the recollection of the previous campaign will endure, as Ronaldo and his squad were unable to catch Nuno Espirito Santo’s Al-Ittihad in the race for the top spot.The other two heavily backed clubs, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad, must be envious as they watch Al-Hilal with the knowledge that their title hopes are all but gone.

 

This season, Al-Hilal have yet to suffer a loss in the Asian Champions League or the league, and their present form is unconquerable.

 

However, the contest for the championship is not yet over. With nine games remaining, Ronaldo will draw confidence from his performance on the eve of the season, when he led Al-Nassr past Al-Hilal with a late brace in the Arab Club Champions Cup. Al-Hilal was defeated by Al-Nassr.

 

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