Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Saudi football team, Al Nassr has embarked on their journey to Doha to face off against Al Duhail on Tuesday in the AFC Champions League group stage.
However, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was notably absent from the squad, along with player Aymeric Laporte.
Portuguese coach Luis Castro decided to exclude Ronaldo from the trip, anticipating player fatigue due to the high-pressure matches since the start of the season.
Ronaldo has been one of the most active players for Al Nassr this season, both domestically and in the Asian competitions, in addition to his involvement with the Portuguese national team in the European qualifiers.
Considering Ronaldo’s age of 38, Castro deemed it necessary to give the Portuguese player a rest, especially as Al Nassr approaches securing a spot in the AFC Champions League knockout stage.
Al Nassr currently leads Group E, holding a 3-point advantage over second-placed Persepolis from Iran.
Several other players were also absent from the Al Nassr delegation to Doha, including Aymeric Laporte, Abdullah Al-Khaybari, Nawaf Boushal, and Raghd Al-Najjar.