(CNN) Famous Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored hundreds of goals in his career, still celebrates by running towards the corner flag to perform his iconic ‘Siu’ celebration, pirouetting through the air before landing in a strong position.
But after scoring a decisive goal for his Saudi club Al Nassr in a 3-2 victory against Al-Shabab, Ronaldo celebrated with a gesture similar to what is usually done in his Arab host country: a “Sajdah “, the low bow or prostration. which Muslim footballers usually do after scoring.
After the winning goal – which the Saudi media called “his best goal since arriving in Saudi Arabia” – Ronaldo bowed to the ground surrounded by his Al Nassr teammates, who were wearing yellow shirts and l encouraged at the same time as the supporters present. In the stadium.
His gesture went viral on social media, sparking a whirlwind of comments from fans across the region.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s joy with the third goal and his prostration before God in gratitude,” Saudi sports correspondent Ali Alabdallah tweeted to his 411,000 followers.
“May God guide your heart to Islam,” he added in the caption of the video.
Many others rejoiced at the win and the gesture that came with it, wishing the star player future success.
The move, which involves leaning towards the ground and touching the grass with the forehead, is a celebratory gesture performed mainly by Muslim footballers.
Liverpool’s Egyptian striker Mo Salah did it several times after scoring a goal.
It is also part of standardized Islamic prayer, which is traditionally performed facing the “qibla”, or the direction of the Kaaba in the Saudi holy city of Mecca.
Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia last year. Its acquisition is part of a bid by the kingdom to revamp its global image and expand its economy beyond oil and gas.