Ronaldo receives rapturous welcome from Al Nassr fans
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One of Nottingham Forest’s January signings Keylor Navas accidentally punched his new team-mates during the goalkeeper’s debut against Leeds on Sunday, just weeks after the Costa Rican stopper also gave Cristiano Ronaldo a black eye on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s first appearance in Saudi Arabia after making the move to Al Nassr following the termination of his contract by Manchester United.
After trying to claim a cross, Navas punched the ball away but collided with defender Willy Boly and left him on the ground in pain before the goalkeeper collected the ball following a goalmouth scramble that almost led to Leeds equalising but he was able to pounce on the ball before Patrick Bamford.
Though Boly was left in pain on the floor and clutched his face, but he was able to return to play and the Ivorian will hope he is able to sustain fewer injuries than Ronaldo after being on the receiving end of Navas’ punch.
Ronaldo sported a black eye after the Saudi All-Star XI lost 5-4 to Paris Saint-Germain in a friendly last month, after the incident Ronaldo was seen complaining to Kylian Mbappe and the referee who joked with the Portugal captain about the incident.
Boly was able to get his revenge on Navas shortly before the half-time whistle, as when defending a Leeds cross stuck his boot out to block the pass and accidentally caught his own goalkeeper in the 36-year-old’s face and forced the medical staff out once again before the stopper was able to resume play.
Navas had a busy opening 45 minutes to his Forest career, after joining on loan from PSG on deadline day, as he was quickly called into action to prevent Wilfried Gnonto in the early stages of the game as the Italian international went through on goal but his powerful effort was well matched by Navas.
Navas left PSG in search of more gametime and was thrusted straight into the Forest lineup after just a few days of training following injury to loanee Dean Henderson.
Henderson is facing over a month on the sidelines after picking up a muscle injury and while Wayne Hennessey has deputised as of late, Navas represents a signifcant upgrade over the Wales international especially until the United stopper returns from injury.
The ex-Real Madrid star showed his pedigree in the first half against Leeds as he made several saves to keep Jesse Marsch’s side at bay, while Brennan Johnson gave the hosts the lead with a stunning volley after Morgan Gibbs-White’s free-kick was cleared to the edge of the box.
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