Cristiano Ronaldo under ‘investigation’ for ‘obscene gesture’ in response to Lionel Messi chant

Lewis Oldham
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Al Nassr.

According to reports, Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo is under ‘investigation’ following his ‘obscene’ response to Al-Shabab fans on Sunday.

Following his major fallout with Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo had his Man Utd contract mutually terminated ahead of the 2023 January transfer window.

Ronaldo impressed for United during the 2021/22 campaign as he netted 18 Premier League goals but he slipped down the pecking order during Ten Hag’s first season in charge.

The Portugal international was reportedly unhappy about not playing in the Champions League following their sixth-place finish in 2021/22. He also hit out at the Glazer family and several of his former United teammates following his ugly exit from the club.

Despite being linked with several clubs around Europe, it was confirmed at the start of 2023 that he had joined Saudi Pro League outfit Al Nassr. He has since been followed to the Middle East by more high-profile footballers, such as Karim Benzema, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.

It was evident during the latter stages of his Man Utd career that Ronaldo was not the player he once was and with his pace evading him, he was often used as a number nine.

This limited the impact he could have for Man Utd but he has benefitted from the quality of opposition in the Saudi Pro League not being the best. He has 42 goals and 13 assists in his 48 appearances for Al Nassr across all competitions.

On Sunday, Ronaldo scored the opening goal as Al Nassr beat Al-Shabab 3-2. His side are currently second in the Saudi Pro League and four points adrift of Al-Hilal, who have a game in hand.

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Ronaldo now finds himself in hot water, though. A report from Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat (via The Guardian) suggests he made an ‘obscene gesture’ to Al-Shabab supporters after scoring over the weekend and is under ‘investigation’.

The former Man Utd star was responding to fans chanting “Messi” and while the incident was not picked up by TV cameras, footage from the stands showed him cupping his ears and then moving his hand to and from his pelvic area in the direction of Al-Shabab supporters.

Saudi writer and television host Waleed Al Farraj has tweeted: “The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see.

“Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are.”

At the time of writing, Al Nassr are yet to comment on the matter but this is not the first time Ronaldo has been involved in an incident like this.

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Earlier this month, he goaded Al-Hilal fans but rubbing one of their scarfs in front of his shorts.

And in April 2023, he grabbed his crotch after being targeted by Al-Hilal fans chanting “Messi” during their side’s 2-0 win over Al Nassr.

Attempting to defend Ronaldo for the incident last year, Al Nassr said: “Ronaldo is suffering from an injury. A duel with Gustavo Cuellar (Al Hilal) started with Ronaldo being hit in a very sensitive area.

“This is confirmed information. The fans may think what they want.”