Cristiano Ronaldo has won his first trophy since 2021 by leading Al Nassr to a remarkable victory in the Arab Club Champions Cup final.
Al Nassr beat Saudi rivals Al-Hilal 2-1 after extra time on Saturday despite playing for more than an hour with just 10 men.
Brazilian winger Michael headed Al-Hilal in front early in the second half before Al Nassr reduced to 10 men for a last-man foul by Abdulelah Al-Amri in the 71st minute.
But Ronaldo equalized to force extra time before netting again to seal a dramatic turnaround.
Summer signings Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic all featured for Al-Hilal, while Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic and Alex Telles started for Al Nassr.
Salem Al-Dawsari had the first chance of the game but ballooned a shot high and wide under pressure from two Al Nassr defenders.
Al-Hilal keeper Mohammed Alowais then pulled off a superb save to deny Brozovic his first goal for Al Nassr following a fine cross by Mane.
Alowais was called upon twice more before half-time. He kept out a powerful 20-yard effort from Abdullah Al Khaibari before thwarting Ronaldo from close range.
After being second best during the first half, Al-Hilal took the lead five minutes into the second period.
Michael opened the scoring with a diving header before imitating Ronaldo’s famous ‘SIU’ goal celebration. Ronaldo would later respond.
Al Nassr’s hopes of a comeback appeared to be fading when center-back Al-Amri was dismissed.
But Al Nassr defied their numerical advantage to draw level almost immediately after going down to 10 men when Sultan Al-Ghannam’s low cross set up Ronaldo, who celebrated by waving is finger directly at Michael.
Ronaldo had the ball in the net against moments later but was rightly called offside.
Cristiano Ronaldo pictured waving his finger after scoring for Al Nassr against Al-Hilal in the final of the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup
But Ronaldo would not be denied in the eighth minute of extra time when he headed home from a rebound after Seko Fofana had rattled the crossbar from long range.
Al Nassr then held firm – despite late Al-Hilal pressure – to win their first trophy since 2020.
Meanwhile, this was Ronaldo’s first trophy since he lifted the Coppa Italia with Juventus in May 2021.
The 38-year-old had been instrumental for Al Nassr throughout their triumphant Arab Club Champions Cup campaign.
Ronaldo ended the tournament as the top scorer, winning the Golden Boot with six goals.
He netted the winner in a 1-0 victory over Iraqi champions Al-Shorta SC in the semi-finals, after scoring in a 3-1 win over Moroccan outfit Raja Club Athletic in the last eight.
Al Nassr had come close to elimination in the group stage before Ronaldo netted an 87th equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Zamalek of Egypt.
He had earlier scored his first goal of the season in a 4-1 win over Tunisian side Union Sportive Monastirienne.