Ronaldo and his Saudi club Al Nassr FC have arrived in Tehran for an AFC Champions League match against the local Persepolis Football Club.
Ronaldo and his team are being protected in Tehran by the Iranian president's security team, according to Iranian media reports, amid sensitivities over Tehran-Riyadh relations which were recently restored after seven years of hiatus.
With chants of "Ronaldo, Ronaldo," the fans surged past law enforcement, flooding the hallways and common areas of the Espinas Palace Hotel, situated to the northwest of Tehran.
Many Iranians on social media are calling for a larger crowd to gather around the hotel Monday night and begin protests against the government. The heavy presence of security forces in the past few days has prevented any protest gathering on the death anniversary of Mahsa Amini.
Ronaldo made his first trip to Iran in preparation for a match against Iran's Persepolis scheduled for September 19th. The return match is set to take place in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on November 27th.
The Brazilian star led the way as the initial high-profile player to embrace lucrative contracts with Saudi teams. The affluent kingdom is investing billions of dollars in its pursuit to transform into a dominant force in the realm of sports and entertainment.
The last instance of Saudi and Iranian teams meeting on their respective home grounds in the group stage or knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League occurred during the 2015 edition.