Tehran witnessed a surge of fervent soccer devotees who flooded into a lavish hotel, all with one aim – to catch a glimpse of the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese sensation, accompanied by his Al Nassr teammates from Saudi Arabia, graced Tehran with his presence ahead of an eagerly awaited Asian Champions League match.
The atmosphere was electric, with chants of ‘Ronaldo, Ronaldo’ reverberating through the air as impassioned supporters fearlessly maneuvered past police barriers, transforming the hallways and public spaces of the Espians Palace Hotel into a sea of anticipation.
This marked Ronaldo’s debut visit to Iran as he united with Saudi’s Al Nassr football club. The stage was set for an epic showdown, with Al Nassr gearing up to face Iran’s football powerhouse, Persepolis, in a clash scheduled for September 19, followed by a return match set to take place in Riyadh on November 27.
Ronaldo’s decision to embrace a lucrative contract with a Saudi team aligns with the oil-rich kingdom’s ambition to redefine itself as a global hub for sports and entertainment.
These remarkable Asian Champions League matches became a reality thanks to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, facilitated by China earlier in the year.
This upcoming clash is truly historic, as the last time Saudi and Iranian teams went head-to-head on their respective home turfs during the group stage or knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League was in the 2015 edition.