Cristiano Ronaldo still wows the crowds in Saudi Arabia. But this Wednesday he celebrated a goal by signing himself with a Christian cross, a gesture controversial in the Gulf nation.
A precursor to star players who have gone into exile in Saudi Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo will see new faces this season that he knows well, such as Karim Benzema, his former Real teammate of ten years. But this Wednesday the Portuguese were discussed for other reasons.
During the meeting between his clubs Al-Nassr and Al Shorta, CR7 distinguished himself by scoring the winning penalty in the semi-finals of the Arab Cup of Champions Clubs. And after this goal, the supporters jumped with joy, then there was a stir in Saudi Arabia due to the celebration of the Portuguese.
A forbidden sign in Saudi Arabia
Indeed, before and after his traditional reverse leap, the entire stadium resounded with “suu” as Cristiano Ronaldo made the sign of the Christian cross. And if it goes unnoticed in Europe because players often celebrate it, then in Saudi Arabia the bullet goes badly.
In this Islamic monarchy, public expression of Christianity is virtually prohibited. Non-Muslims have neither the right to pray in public nor to promote or display any symbols of their Christian faith.
Although this is considered a crime and can lead to arrest, the player should not see the police arrive at his house to take him away. However, he may get a warning from his club. In 2011, Colombian Juan Pablo Pino, who passed through Monaco and Bastia, and who was wearing al-Nasr’s colors at the time, was arrested in a shopping center because his tattoo of Jesus was too visible.