With Cristiano Ronaldo unable to make his debut in the Saudi League due to bureaucratic issues, former Benfica and Besiktas midfielder Talisca rose to the challenge scoring both goals as Al Nassr defeated Al Taee 2-0 on Friday to take a four-point advantage over Al Shabab and Al Hilal in the table.
Ronaldo could not make his highly-anticipated debut in Riyadh because he was forced to comply with a two-match FA ban for smashing a young Everton fan’s phone while at United.
FIFA have ordered Ronaldo to serve his ban, despite claims that Al-Nassr are were ready to ignore it so he could play in the January 14 battle against fellow title chasers Al-Shabab.
As he will now miss Al-Nassr’s next two games, it means he is likely to make his debut against Ettifaq on January 21.
The Portuguese veteran, 37, moved to the Saudi Arabian side on a free transfer in late December after his Manchester United contract was ripped up following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
Cristiano Ronaldo was in a VIP box as Al-Nassr won 2-0 in their first match since his signing – but was missing from his seat for the entire second half as he watched the game while on an exercise bike in the changing rooms.