Al Nassr vs PSG Match Highlights: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe Meets Cristiano Ronaldo | Times of India | Football News

RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo recovered from a punch to the face to score twice against Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday in a heated meeting with arch-rival Lionel Messi that demonstrated the financial firepower of the wealthy Gulf in resources.
Ronaldo, 37, was hit by the flailing fist of PSG keeper Keylor Navas but drilled through the resulting penalty and then added another in a 5-4 loss, his first appearance since his move to Saudi Arabia in a deal that would total more than 400 million. euros.
For Qatar-owned PSG, Messi and Kylian Mbappe both scored and Neymar missed a penalty before retiring on the hour mark alongside Ronaldo, who represented a composite Saudi side, to leave the four players the world’s highest paid watch from the bench in Riyadh.
Hundreds of millions of footballers were on the line for the exhibition match in the Saudi capital, which comes just weeks after neighboring Qatar spent lavishly on the first World Cup on Arab soil, won by Messi’s Argentina.
Among the packed crowd at the 69,000-seat King Fahd Stadium was a Saudi property mogul who paid $2.6 million at auction for a ticket giving him access to the players’ dressing rooms.
After Ronaldo led the Riyadh Season Teamfired from his new club Al Nassr and Saudi rivals Al Hilal, with flamethrowers and ticker tape, Messi opened the scoring after just three minutes when he was fed on livewire Mbappe.

AP Photo
Ronaldo’s first touch in Saudi football was a throw-in, but he saved a shot and a penalty appeal was overturned before Navas caught him low on the cheekbone as they battled for a high ball .
Ronaldo, still rubbing the red mark on his face and grimacing, fired past Navas to make it 1-1 in 34 minutes.
Five minutes later, PSG’s Juan Bernat was shown a red card for a foul on Salem Al-Dawsari – the winner of Saudi Arabia’s game in their famous World Cup group stage victory over Argentina.
Messi, perhaps angered by the intensity of the mid-season friendly, cast a reproving glare at Ronaldo, his training partner during his time playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
PSG were soon back in front thanks to Marquinhos’ tricky finish before Neymar missed his kick, firing obediently after a characteristically stuttering run.
Minutes later, Ronaldo hit his second equalizer deep in first-half added time, heading for the post and then burying the rebound to make it 2-2 at halftime.


Photo: AFP
Mbappe put PSG back in front shortly after the break, turning his marker upside down and delivering an easy finish for Sergio Ramos, before Hyun-soo Jang found a third equalizer for the hosts.
But Mbappe kicked a penalty and Hugo Ekitike scored to make it 5-3 before Brazil striker Talisca netted Riyadh’s fourth goal in the penalty area.
It was the first outing to oil-rich Saudi Arabia for Ronaldo, who will make his Saudi Pro League debut for Al Nassr on Sunday after signing for more than 200 million euros, according to a source close to the club.
The veteran Portuguese star will receive an additional 200 million euros, the source told AFP, to be an ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup with Egypt and Greece .


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