Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, striker of the Saudi team Al-Nassr, received a rally upon his arrival in Tehran, where fans chanted his name and waved to him, on the eve of his team's match against Iran's Persepolis in the AFC Champions League.

The matches between the teams of the Saudi and Iranian federations, whether at the level of teams or clubs, were held on neutral ground in neighboring Gulf countries, according to the decision of the Executive Office of the AFC in 2016, due to the interruption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

But the March reconciliation prompted the confederation to overturn its previous decision, thereby allowing the two countries' clubs to play on a home-and-away basis when they are drawn head-to-head.

Saudi 🇸🇦
Al-Nasr Club receives the reception of greats in the 💛
Iranian capital, Tehran pic.twitter.com/OMIgsgqwRl

— Al Nassr Saudi Club (@AlNassrFC) September 18, 2023

However, Persepolis fans will not enjoy watching the 38-year-old Ronaldo from the stands of Tehran's 90,2021-seat Azadi Stadium, because the confederation imposed a one-match ban on the Iranian team for posting a controversial tweet on his Instagram account in <>.

Iranians greeted Ronaldo with flowers (French)

Al-Nasr players arrived in Tehran under heavy security from the "elite unit" specialized in presidential visits, the Iranian press reported, while the presence of a star of Ronaldo's caliber is rare in the Asian country.

Giant banners were hung on the city's bridges bearing pictures of the five-time world player of the year, reading "Welcome", and fans rushed to try to catch a glimpse of the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star.

Ronaldo received two luxurious Iranian rugs as a gift from the president of Persepolis.

Al-Nasr Club published videos of the arrival of the team's bus to the hotel where the players and the technical staff will stay, amid large crowds of Iranians who were taking pictures.

They are things that are not bought 💛

Be closer and watch the backstage of #العالمي's 🤩arrival
in the Iranian capital Tehran
via the official Snapchat 🤳#النصر account https://t.co/Hrdf7HugGG pic.twitter.com/lsgfBiP2Uv

— Al Nassr Saudi Club (@AlNassrFC) September 18, 2023

"It's very exciting," said Navid Berhanivar, a 28-year-old Ronaldo supporter, expressing hope for a "beautiful match" between Al Nasr stars and Persepolis.

The match is a revenge match for Al Nasr, who lost to Iran in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League in 2020.

Al Nasr also includes Brazilians Talisca and Malcom, Senegalese Sadio Mane, Croatian Marcelo Brozovic, ivory Sekou Fofana and Spaniard Aymeric Laporte.

🚨#رونالدو's reaction to the love of the Iranian masses.#النصر_بيرسبوليس #العالمي pic.twitter.com/tMKES2Urz2

— Davud Ekdri (@DIgdery) September 18, 2023

🚨The arrival of a bus #النصر with #رونالدو to the hotel amid a historic reception by the Iranian public. pic.twitter.com/SjEascM1zS

— Davud Ekdri (@DIgdery) September 18, 2023

Huadaran Ronaldo gathered in front of Khomeini pic.twitter.com/bekeyYneiF

— Khabargazari Esna (@isna_farsi) September 18, 2023

Woroud Taym #النصر by the Hitle Mahal Established and crowded Association of the parties of the https://t.co/F3852W5b4b pic.twitter.com/KBab3wkzsd

— Khabargazari Esna (@isna_farsi) September 18, 2023

Shore and Haigan Hawdarn Iranian Hengam exit Atopus Hai holder #رونالدو and Yaranch az Frogah Imam Khomeini#پرسپولis #victory#victory_Persepolis #ACL2023 pic.twitter.com/Y5HA66LEa4

— TasnimSport (@tasnimsport) September 18, 2023

And it was Ronaldo to highlight the feelings of Huadaran relationship since he has a Portuguese curtain#Persepolis #victory#victory_Persepolis #Ronaldo#ACL2023 pic.twitter.com/hq82z5GUUc

— TasnimSport (@tasnimsport) September 18, 2023

Huadaran Association crowding opposite Spinas Palace #Persepolis #Victory#Victory_Persepolis #Ronaldo#ACL2023 pic.twitter.com/dcu7Urr4It

— TasnimSport (@tasnimsport) September 18, 2023