Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo each scored in an eventful 5-4 Paris Saint-German victory over Saudi All-Star XI here at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday. While Messi has been playing for the Parisians since the 2021-22 season, Ronaldo recently completed a move to Al Nassr following the mutual termination of his Manchester United contract. Before the match, Ronaldo shared a warm hug with all the three greats of the game Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) January 19, 2023
Thursday’s game was the first match-up between the two football titans since 2020 and the 37th time in their careers. It could be the last time that they meet on the pitch. It was only fitting that Messi and Ronaldo were the first to score, with the Argentine legend doing so just three minutes in. However, Ronaldo fought back and scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute.
PSG’s Juan Bernat received a red card in the 39th minute before Marquinhos gave them the lead again (44′). CR7 managed his second goal (45’+6′), tying the match at halftime. The back and forth continued in the second half with Sergio Ramos giving PSG a short-lived 3-2 lead (53′). Jang Hyun-Soo levelled it at three all three minutes later.
French superstar Kylian Mbappe pushed PSG ahead – again – with a goal off a penalty kick at 60′. Shortly after, Ronaldo (61′) and Messi (62′) came off the field. Hugo Ekitike extended PSG’s lead, scoring in the 78th minute to make it 5-3. Al Nassr never gave up with Anderson Talisca giving his side a fourth goal late in the game (90’+4′) but it wasn’t enough. Ronaldo and Messi now have each scored 23 goals when facing each other though Messi leads with 17 wins in the series to Ronaldo’s 11.