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Ronaldo ready for Iran game in Al-Nassr v Persepolis clash

Ronaldo ready for crunch Iran game in Al-Nassr v Persepolis AFC Champions League clash
2 min read
27 November, 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo will be the star of tonight's game between Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr and Persepolis or Iran.
Ronaldo will star for the Riyadh side on Monday night [Getty]

Cristiano Ronaldo will star for Saudi side Al-Nassr on Monday night as they host Iranian side Persepolis in a crunch game in Riyadh.

Al-Nassr needs just a point to move out of the group stages, while Persepolis will be looking to secure second place in Group E.

FC Istiklol of Tajikistan is still in with a shout of progressing through to the next stage with two points so far, while the outlook looks more bleak for Al-Duhail of Qatar who have managed to take just one point in four games.

Ronaldo's Riyadh side has won four of its four AFC Champions League games and will be looking to finish the group with a clean sweep.

Out-of-form Persepolis, one of the biggest teams in Iran, will be hoping to improve their recent poor form and a win over Al-Nassr away from home could provide the catalyst needed for this.

The match follows a minor diplomatic spat that erupted between Riyadh and Tehran over a statue of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani which was on display during a visit by Jeddah's Al-Ittihad to Sepahan FC in Isfahan last month.

Al-Ittihad officials refused to play the game due to the presence of the statue at Sepahan FC's stadium, with match officials deciding to cancel the match following an uproar by travelling Saudi fans.

Soleimani was part of the overseas wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Al-Quds Force, which has been accused of massacring Sunni civilians in Syria and Iraq and giving aid to the Houthi rebels of Yemen.

Iran's foreign Hossein Amir-Abdollahian played down the row days later, but the issue highlighted the delicate ties between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, despite a recent improvement in relations.