Al-Nassr have been forced to postpone their proposed tour of China after ex-Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo picked up an injury.
The organizers of the friendly matches announced on Tuesday that the Saudi Arabian team would not be able to participate after Ronaldo suffered an injury that would rule him out.
It was hoped that the Saudi Pro League side would face against Shanghai Shenhua and Zhejiang FC in the southern city of Shenzhen on January 24 and 28 respectively.
But it was reported that the games had been canceled “due to Cristiano Ronaldo‘s physical condition”, which meant the Madeira-born striker “would not be able to play”.
Tickets for the game, which sold out within minutes of going on sale, will be refunded in addition to travel expenses.
According to the local media in China, organizers are already in talks to arrange a new date for the matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s groveling apology
“For me, today is a sad day. I want to say sorry to all of the Chinese fans, especially ones in Shenzen,” Ronaldo said, confirming the cancelation at a press conference.
“As you know, in soccer there are things that cannot be controlled. I have been playing for 22 years and there has not been a player with so many injuries.”
The Portuguese superstar, 38, described China as “like a second home” for him, and he heaped praise on the Chinese public for their warm reception, insisting his team would return to play at a later date.
“I always feel special in this country. I know everyone is sad, and so am I,” Ronaldo continued.
“But we have to see the positive side and with this in mind, the game will not be canceled but postponed. We want to return here, to your country, and we will come back.”
This visit, which began on January 21, was Ronaldo’s eighth trip to the China and Al-Nassr’s first-ever trip to the Far East country.