Cristiano Ronaldo has had a rollercoaster of a ride over the last few months.
It all started with his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, which was basically just a ploy from him to instigate Manchester United into terminating his contract and make him a free agent.
Being the idealist that he is, the Portuguese forward believed that the interview would help him get more attention heading into the Qatar World Cup. He only scored one goal for Portugal in the competition and was benched in their knockout games.
His possible final edition of the World Cup ended in (literal) tears for him.
Over his domestic career, Ronaldo was confident that he would be spoilt with a barrage of transfer offers and was certain that prominent European clubs were willing to sign him.
Instead, he kept getting rejected by every major club he approached and was dealt with a case of humble pie.
With options and time running out, Ronaldo decided to accept a historical offer from Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr – who made him the highest-paid player of all time with a contract of wages worth €200m-a-season.
It wasn’t the most attractive club to move to, with Ronaldo being barraged with mockery that ‘he’s finished’ and that he’s accepted his career to be over.
He dismissed all of that in his unveiling press conference, claiming that he rejected offers from Europe, Australia and the USA to join Al Nassr as he believes they match his ambition levels.
With the smoke around his arrival having perished, fans were eagerly waiting on when they’ll get to see Ronaldo play his first game in the Saudi club’s colors.
After only joining in early January itself, fans believed his debut could be in their Saudi Pro League encounter against Al-Ta’ee on Friday, 6 December.
So much so that even before the game was scheduled to happen, fake videos on YouTube were created with made-up headlines.
Some claimed he helped them pick up a big one, with others stating it was a draw.
Even though this was clearly fake, the smart design of the title thumbnails duped millions of viewers. One video that claimed Ronaldo helped Al Nassr win 5-1 racked up 12 million views in just 20 hours!
As much as these videos try to claim it, the Portuguese forward is yet to make his debut for Al Nassr.
In fact, he’s not even technically allowed to make his debut in the game against Al-Ta’ee at all. Ronaldo is actually serving a two-game suspension that was dealt to him by the England Football Association (FA).
He was suspended for an act from the 2020/21 season when he broke a mobile phone and injured an autistic Everton fan after Man United’s 1-0 loss at Goodison Park last season.
As a result, Ronaldo will be forced to sit out the first two games he’s eligible for Al Nassr, including the ones against Al Tae’ee and Al-Shabab on January 14.
In fact, his debut in front of the Saudi Arabia crowd could be on January 19 as part of a Saudi Arabia All-Star XI team that faces Lionel Messi’s PSG side in a friendly game.
That would mean his first game could be against arch-rival Messi and the actual videos of those games should trump the fake ones lingering on YouTube over a Ronaldo debut that is yet to happen.