Updated January 18th, 2024 at 15:30 IST

'Ronaldo was in moment of sadness when he came': Al-Nassr coach lifts lid on CR7's mental state

Al-Nassr lifted the lid on Portuguese GOAT Cristiano Ronaldo's mental health issues when he arrived at the club after a disaster with Manchester United.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
The one-man show, Cristiano Ronaldo gave his best for Portugal in the FIFA World Cup 2022. | Image:AP

Throughout his illustrious career, one of the more contentious periods was Cristiano Ronaldo's second spell at Manchester United. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's contract was amicably terminated in November 2022 due to his conflict with Erik Ten Hag, despite him being the greatest player on the team. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 54 goals for the Al-Nassr captain, concluded as the 2023 best striker; Manchester United, on the other hand, has not yet made an impression in the football league.

3 things you need to know 

  • Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in November 2022
  • Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in January 2023
  • Ronaldo finished with 54 goals in 2023 with club and country

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 Luis Castro said Ronaldo was struggling mentally when he arrived at Al-Nassr

Coach Luis Castro of Al Nassr has provided insights into Cristiano Ronaldo's mental condition before to joining the squad. Castro claimed that Ronaldo was having difficulties both on and off the pitch and that he was not in a good place. He saw a decline in form as a consequence.


Castro stressed that getting Ronaldo's mental health back on track was his first priority in an interview with RECORD, saying that he believed it would help him perform better. Castro reported that the former Real Madrid player smiled again and performed well in training right away. Luis Castro said: 

“I often say that when your face doesn't laugh, your feet don't laugh either. Cristiano was in a moment of some sadness, due to some events in his personal and professional life. There was this intention of giving him back his joy, through training, games. This was achieved. He responded very naturally to what was asked of him and today he is once again a world reference, as he always was. For what he plays and for who he is, on and off the field.”

Continuing, Castro emphasised the importance of Cristiano Ronaldo regaining his form, particularly considering his status as Al Nassr's captain. He emphasised that Ronaldo's teammates continuously looked up to him, and their dedication to give their all was significantly affected by the Portuguese star's presence on the squad. Castro emphasised Ronaldo's good effect on team chemistry and performance. He added: 

“The team captain must be a reference in any dressing room in the world. And when the captain is the best player in the world, his presence and leadership become even stronger. He is a very balanced person. He balances himself and his teammates. He is an example of rigor, discipline and ambition, in short, everything a player should have. He is a reference for all of them. You don't notice any difference. Cristiano is one of them. We have a big family. Everyone respects each other. When it comes to laugh, everyone laughs When they are sad, everyone is. Everyone is involved in a single feeling at every moment of the season.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo has performed admirably for Al Nassr under Luis Castro, appearing in 25 matches across all competitions. During this time, he has scored 24 goals. Furthermore, Ronaldo has contributed to the team's victory with 11 assists, demonstrating his adaptability and effectiveness on the field under Castro's leadership. The coach and the captain will be seen in action ‌against Shanghai Shenhuain, a friendly match on January 24, 2024.


Published January 18th, 2024 at 12:30 IST