Iranian Ronaldo-mania: Frenzy fans swarm Al-Nassr star’s hotel


A throng of soccer lovers on Monday surged right into a Tehran resort, wanting to catch a glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo, the star participant who had simply arrived together with his Saudi teammates in anticipation of an upcoming match.

Chanting “Ronaldo, Ronaldo,” the followers pushed previous police, filling the corridors and public areas of the Espians Palace Hotel.

Ronaldo arrived on his first go to to Iran with the Saudi soccer membership Al-Nassr, which is ready to play Iran’s Persepolis in Tehran on Sept. 19. The return recreation will likely be performed within the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Nov. 27.

Ronaldo was the primary of a number of big-name gamers to simply accept lavish contracts to play for Saudi groups. The oil-rich kingdom is spending billions of {dollars} to attempt to rework itself right into a sports activities and leisure powerhouse.

The Asian Champions League video games are made doable by restoring diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia following an settlement brokered by China earlier this 12 months. The longtime rivals had severed ties in 2016 after an indignant crowd stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran to protest Saudi Arabia’s execution of a well-liked Shiite cleric.

The 2015 Asian Champions League version was the final time Saudi and Iranian groups confronted one another on residence turf within the group stage or knockout rounds.

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