Cristiano Ronaldo now plays for Saudi club Nassr
Cristiano Ronaldo has been in great form for Al Nasse this season | Photo: AFP AFP News

Cristiano Ronaldo rejected a penalty awarded to Al-Nassr, which could have helped his side win against Iranian club Persepolis in the Asian Champions League on Monday.

The match eventually ended in a 0-0 draw at Al-Nassr's home ground, King Saud University Stadium, in Riyadh. In the opening moments of the game, Ronaldo went down in the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. However, Ronaldo joined the Persepolis players in disputing the penalty.

That led to the match referee Ma Ning checking on the pitchside monitor before overturning his decision.

Watch the moment here

The act of Ronaldo refusing a penalty was widely shared on social media, with many praising the Portuguese legend for the sportsmanship he showed on the field.

"Sportsmanship at its finest! Cristiano Ronaldo's gesture, acknowledging he wasn't fouled despite being awarded a penalty, exemplifies fair play and integrity on the field," wrote a user on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Great gesture from the Goat," wrote another user.

A third user wrote:" The class of a superstar is not just about football, it's about the good personality of a person."

Meanwhile, Ronaldo's Al-Nassr were later on reduced to 10-men after their defender Ali Lajimi was sent off in the half for a dangerous challenge on Milad Sarlak. The former Manchester United star also gave a late scare to Al-Nassr when he left the field in the 77th minute with a neck injury. At the beginning of the second half, Ronaldo suffered the injury after Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand landed on him while coming to save a high ball.

The Saudi Pro League side had already qualified for the knockout stages as the Group E winners and advanced unbeaten. Al-Nassr entered Monday's fixture on the back of winning 18 of their previous 19 games in all competitions.

Ronaldo praises Al Nassr

After the match, Ronaldo credited his side for their teamwork over the last few months, being unbeaten in 20 straight competitive matches.

"Happy that we qualified 1st in our group and to have achieved 20 games unbeaten. Great Teamwork," wrote Ronaldo in an Instagram post.

In Group E, Qatar's Al-Duhail clinched its first win after defeating Istiklol of Tajikistan 2-0. Prolific Kenyan striker Michael Olunga scored both goals.

In Group C of the Asian Champions League, Argentine coach Marcelo Gallardo picked up his first win since being appointed by Al-Ittihad earlier this month, with the Saudi Pro League winners defeating AGMK of Uzbekistan 2-1 to move into the knockout stages. Two goals from Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah in the first half gave Al-Ittihad the lead after Karim Benzema missed chances.

With 34 points, Al Nassr are in second place in the Saudi Pro League in the ongoing season, behind leaders Al-Hilal, who are four points clear at the top of the table. The two sides are set to come face to face on Dec. 1 in the league.

Ronaldo's sublime form

Ronaldo has been in great form this campaign, scoring 18 goals in 19 matches across all competitions for Al-Nassr.

Last week, Ronaldo was on fire against Al-Akhdoud, following up a delightful first goal with a stunning long-range chip. Ronaldo took down a lofted pass with an extreme first touch before smashing it at the back of the net at the near post. But his second goal went one better – a fantastic long-range effort, lofted over an unfortunate goalkeeper, who found himself way out of position.

A day later on Monday (Nov. 26), Manchester United teenage star Alejandro Garnacho scored a Ronaldo-like bicycle kick. Garnacho paid tribute to the Portuguese forward by doing his iconic "Siu" celebration near the corner flag in the Red Devils' 3-0 win over Everton in the Premier League.