RIYADH: On Tuesday, Cristiano Ronaldo won the affection of his fans in Saudi Arabia again when he celebrated his goal while performing the Ardah, one of the Kingdom’s most recognizable traditional dances.
Al-Nassr’s captain had a good game, scoring two goals despite one goal being disallowed.
When he netted the team’s second goal, the Portugal international turned to his home fans and, with a raised hand, performed his version of the Ardah.
This dance is one of the main traditions of the Kingdom and was added in 2015 to the list of intangible cultural heritage of Unesco. It is danced on special occasions, including official visits by world leaders, national holidays and cultural festivals.
“Since his first day in Saudi Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo’s statements have been filled with love, respect and esteem for the country and for the great project we are pursuing, and today he celebrates this with Ardah” , claimed a user on social networks.
Another posted: “The best player in the world doesn’t just score goals, he also exports Saudi culture to the world.”
“He is exporting Saudi culture to the world”: Saudi fans are loving @Cristiano‘s traditional Ardah dance at last night’s Riyadh derby, where the star roused his @AlNassrFC_EN team to a crucial victory https://t.co/MaySSpLJUN
—Arab News | Sport (@ArabNewsSport) August 30, 2023
In the Ardah, the performance of the dance begins with a chant which was once used to stimulate warriors in the face of the enemy. And it was in that spirit that the global superstar looked to lead his side to victory after a disastrous start to the season, losing to Steven Gerrard-led Al-Ettifaq as well as Al-Taawoun.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Ronaldo’s two penalties helped Nassr win 4-0 against Al-Shabbab at Al-Awwal Park in the Saudi capital. Al-Shabab was undoubtedly Al-Nassr’s toughest challenge for the new season, but the home side looked comfortable throughout the encounter.
Ronaldo also pulled himself aside to allow Abdelrahmane Ghareeb to take a penalty in the 63e minute, even though the Portuguese star was close to scoring a hat trick. Ghareeb’s shot was saved well and his next shot was disallowed.
A lobed header from Ronaldo headed into the Shabab net in the 18the minute, but it was also disallowed after the VAR (video refereeing) harshly claimed that he pushed Fawaz al-Sagourq before the kick.
Despite his unhappy start to the season, Nassr remains one of the favorites to win the Saudi Pro League, and this crucial win in Riyadh fixtures puts him back on track.
Ronaldo, one of the world’s most successful talented footballers has settled into his new home with the goal of achieving new accomplishments. He was seen walking with his family, enjoying the tourist attractions and nightlife of his new city. He has even been spotted wearing the traditional Saudi thobe in public.
“The greatest experience I’ve ever had here was when I went to Boulevard World, which is something I really enjoyed,” he said in an interview with the SPL. “I brought my whole family there.”
And the Saudis also embraced the player.
Partygoers in Taïf combined Ronaldo’s famous ‘Siuu’ goal celebration with a traditional dance known as the ‘majrour’, and the resulting video went viral on social media.
Ronaldo, one of the first big names to sign with the SPL, was joined in the Championship by a host of top players from European leagues, including Karim Benzema, Neymar, Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez.
In June, the Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, took a 75% stake in four clubs: Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli.
This decision is part of the Kingdom’s strategy to make the SPL one of the best in the world.
Ronaldo believes this is an achievable goal, with the positive contribution from the league. “In my opinion, if they keep doing the job they want to do in the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be the fifth (best league) in the world,” he told the SPL.
Ronaldo called Nassr’s presentation one of his “best moments in football”, saying he was happy to be in Saudi Arabia. “I will be part of your culture. I will be there.”
This text is the translation of an article published on Arabnews.com