After a turbulent 2022-23, Cristiano Ronaldo ended his recent footballing season with another disappointment as he wasn’t included in the Saudi Pro League team of the season. Over Ronaldo, former Manchester United loanee and Al-Hilal forward Odin Ighalo was picked in the team of the season.
After joining Al-Nassr in the January window, Ronaldo managed to turn the world’s attention towards the Saudi Pro League. Scoring 14 goals in 16 games, CR7 finished as the fifth-highest goal scorer of the tournament behind Al Ittihad’s Abderrazak Hamdallah, Ronaldo’s teammate Anderson Talisca, Ighalo and Al Fateh’s Feras Al-Brikan.
Talking about the SPL team of the season, Ighalo was picked on the back of his 19 goals in 27 appearances along with Firas Al-Buraikan, who had a tally of 17 goals in 30 games, and Mourad Batna, who scored 10 times in 25 appearances.
The midfield included former Bayern Munich star Luiz Gustavo alongside Al-Ittihad's Romarinho and Al-Taawoun's Kaku. Ex-West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi was named as centre-back with his Al-Ittihad teammate Ahmed Sharahili. Madallah Al-Olayan and Ghislain Konan were named the full-backs, while Brazil’s Marcelo Grohe was picked in goal.
After the season, rumours surfaced of Ronaldo leaving Saudi Arabia but the 38-year-old quickly shut these claims while speaking in an interview with Sky Sports. He stated that he is happy in Saudi Arabia and expressed that the SPL has the potential to be the top-five league in the world.
"I am happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here," he said earlier this month. "And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top-five league in the world.
"I will be part of your world, your culture, I will be here, I hope I make the people enjoy through my games, my performance, and to win things, but again, thank you for welcoming me, and I will try to give my best during the time that I will be here,” he further added.