Cristiano Ronaldo is welcomed upon arrival at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran on Monday. Reuters
Fans chanted the name of the Portuguese five-time world player of the year as he arrived with his Al Nassr teammates to face Iran's leading club Persepolis in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday.
In Tehran, excitement filled the air as fans eagerly waited to catch a glimpse of 38-year-old Ronaldo as he left Iran's Imam Khomeini's airport with his teammates.
"It was a very good feeling, and we all enjoyed it," Al Nassr manager Luis Castro said in his press conference. "We saw a series of scenes and many Iranian fans were even holding Al Nassr team shirts, which was a pleasant event for us."
Large crowds of cheering fans lined the streets as Ronaldo arrived at a hotel in Tehran on board the team bus.
Others chanting "Ronaldo, Ronaldo!" even flooded into the hotel lobby.
Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on Monday. AFP
Posters of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus star with "Welcome," written in Arabic, English and Farsi sprung up in the Iranian capital's main streets.
Ahead of the match, Persepolis manager Yahya Golmohammadi expressed his happiness at hosting the "great team" of Al Nassr, but said his team was equal to the challenge of taking on the Saudi club.
"I think it will be a beautiful game and will have a lot of excitement," said 28-year-old Navid Borhanifar, a Ronaldo fan. "It's very exciting for me."
The match on Thursday in Riyadh is set to pit Messi's Paris Saint-Germain against a select side made up of players from Ronaldo's new club Al Nassr and their Saudi rivals Al Hilal.
PSG said on Monday it will play a Jan.19 friendly in Riyadh against a composite team of players from Ronaldo’s new club Al Nassr and Al Hilal, the current Asian Champions League title holder.
A string of clips posted by Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez on Instagram shows Alana and Bella singing a song in Arabic.
Martin said he felt in strong command of his bike even in the rain, but was happy to collect the points and ready to move on to the next race. "I am so happy," Martin said. "Luckily everyone was OK."
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi, Chairman of the Emirates Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Anis Binous, Chairman of the Organising Committee, and a number of dignitaries attended the final of the three-day championship, which was held at Binous Gym.
The seventh-ranked Jabeur, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, saved her best performance of the tournament for the final and raced to victory in 78 minutes.