Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain, PSG) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr) locked horns for possibly the final time on Friday when the duo played in an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia. The friendly match between Paris Saint-Germain and Riyadh All-Stars delivered nine goals and a victory for PSG.
PSG prevailed 5-4 against Riyadh All Stars XI in a match at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. All three world-class top players from PSG, Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, and Neymar started the game. And it took just three minutes for the highlights to start rolling. Messi opened the scoring. From the left half-space, Neymar lobbed a through ball over four defenders with the outside of his right foot, and Messi ran onto it to finish between the goalie and left back.
Ronaldo then had his say in the 34th minute via a penalty. His iconic celebration, yelling 'Siuuu' at the top of his lungs, was staged in front of 68,000 fans who visited the stadium, marking his successful start in the Saudi Arabian team.
Ronaldo made it 2-2 before half-time when he converted the rebound after his header came back off a post. Jang Hyun-soo's header drew the All-Star XI level at 3-3, but in the 60th minute, Mbappé penned his name onto the score sheet via a penalty.
Although it was a friendly match, it was the 37th time that Messi and Ronaldo faced each other since the UEFA Champions League in December 2020. At that time, Messi belonged to Barcelona (Spain) and Ronaldo to Juventus (Italy), but Juventus won 3-0 with two goals from Ronaldo.
After the game on Friday, Ronaldo posted a photo of him and Messi having conversations right before the kickoff, saying, “So happy to be back on the pitch, and on the score sheet!! And nice to see some old friends!” Messi also posted a video of him and Ronaldo hugging on his Instagram.