Al-Nassr’s Ronaldo star of show in Tehran as team prepares to face Persepolis

Saudi club Al-Nassr were treated to a warm welcome in Iran on Monday thanks to the star power of their squad, led by global soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fans cheered outside their hotel in Tehran with many wearing Ronaldo jerseys or holding up posters of the star player.

Ronaldo, a five-time UEFA Champions League winner, will begin his quest to add another continental title to his long list of honors on Tuesday when Al-Nassr kicks off their Asian Champions League campaign against 2020 runners-up Persepolis.

Al-Nassr’s Portuguese coach Luis Castro said his team had prepared well to face the Iranian side but complained of a little fatigue in his squad.

“With the run of games we’ve had, with players on the injured (list) and all the games still ahead of us, we’re a little worn out arriving for this match but we’re ready for it,” Castro said.

Saudi winger Abdulrahman Ghareeb, meanwhile, voiced his pleasant surprise at the level of support he saw from Iranian fans, calling the scenes ‘beautiful’.

“Honestly I was surprised with what I saw. It’s honestly very beautiful to see people arriving from everywhere supporting Al-Nassr,” Ghareeb said.