Al-Nassr’s Anderson Talisca has been experiencing a poor run of form, scoring only three times in his last eight appearances across competitions. The Brazilian striker failed to find the back of the net in each of his last three league games, which Al-Nassr also failed to win. Talisca was Al-Nassr’s main man in the first half of the season, bagging 13 goals from the team’s first 15 Saudi Pro League games. However, his poor performance has seen him fall behind in the race for the golden boot, with Al-Ittihad’s Abderrazak Hamdallah having four more goals than him.
Talisca returned to Al-Nassr’s starting lineup against Al-Khaleej on Monday (8 May) after missing their 4-0 win over Al-Raed. However, the attacker failed to make an impact as Al-Aalami were held to a 1-1 draw at home. Talisca’s struggles have led to suggestions that he is affected by Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence in the team. Al-Nassr head coach Dinko Jelicic, however, has said those claims are not true, citing Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s form as an example.
“Talisca did not deliver what was expected of him in more than one match, but it is related to level fluctuations and other reasons,” Jelicic said (via Kooora). “Playing next to Cristiano Ronaldo does not cause pressure, and the performance of Abdulrahman Ghareeb is an example of that.” Jelicic added that Talisca is under pressure due to his goal drought. “Talisca is also in agreement with Cristiano in training but in matches the performance drops,” Jelicic said. “There is pressure on him may be because he is not scoring goals.”
Al-Nassr’s draw against relegation-battling Al-Khaleej saw them fall five points behind Al-Ittihad in the title race. They have only won one of their last four league games. Cristiano Ronaldo, who made a bright start in Saudi Arabia with 11 goals in his first nine league games, has also been experiencing a dip in form. Al-Nassr have only won one of their last five games across competitions, crashing out of the King’s Cup and falling five points behind in the title race. Ronaldo notably scored only once in those games.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner cut a frustrated figure after Al-Nassr’s 1-1 draw against 14th-placed Al-Khaleej. He rejected advances for a selfie from an opposition staff member on Monday (8 May), seemingly shoving the person away. Ronaldo’s presence in the team has been a topic of discussion among fans and critics alike, but Jelicic has dismissed the claims that Ronaldo’s presence has affected the team’s performance.
Al-Nassr’s next match is against Al-Qadsiah on Saturday (15 May), and the team will be looking to get back to winning ways to keep their title hopes alive. As for Talisca, he will be hoping to rediscover his form and help Al-Nassr secure a spot in the AFC Champions League next season.