Cristiano Ronaldo recovered from a punch within the face to attain twice towards Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday in a full of life reunion together with his nice rival Lionel Messi that demonstrated the monetary firepower of the resource-rich Gulf.
Ronaldo, 37, was decked by PSG ‘keeper Keylor Navas’s flailing fist however he drilled the ensuing penalty after which added one other in a 5-4 exhibition defeat, his first look since shifting to Saudi Arabia in a deal mentioned to whole greater than 400 million euros.
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For Qatar-owned PSG, Messi and Kylian Mbappe each scored and Neymar missed a penalty earlier than they withdrew on the hour-mark alongside Ronaldo, who was representing a composite Saudi facet, to go away the world’s 4 best-paid gamers watching from the bench in Riyadh.
Hundreds of tens of millions of euros value of footballers have been on view for the exhibition sport within the Saudi capital, which comes simply weeks after neighbouring Qatar spent lavishly on the primary World Cup on Arab soil, received by Messi’s Argentina.
Among the packed crowd on the 69,000-seat King Fahd Stadium was a Saudi actual property mogul who paid $AUD3.7 million at public sale for a ticket giving him dressing-room entry to the gamers.
After Ronaldo led out the Riyadh Season Team, drawn from his new membership Al Nassr and Saudi rivals Al Hilal, to flamethrowers and ticker tape, Messi opened the scoring after simply three minutes when he was fed by the livewire Mbappe.
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Ronaldo’s first contact in Saudi soccer was a throw-in however he had a shot saved and a penalty attraction waved away earlier than Navas caught him flush on the cheekbone as they challenged for a excessive ball.
Ronaldo, nonetheless rubbing the purple mark on his face and grimacing, fired previous Navas to make it 1-1 on 34 minutes.
Five minutes later, PSG’s Juan Bernat was given a straight purple card for a foul on Salem Al-Dawsari — Saudi Arabia’s matchwinner of their well-known group-stage World Cup victory over Argentina.
Messi, maybe irritated by the depth of the mid-season pleasant, aimed a reproachful take a look at Ronaldo, his sparring companion of their days taking part in for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo copped a fist to the face from PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas. (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
PSG have been quickly again in entrance due to Marquinhos’s delicate end earlier than Neymar missed his spot-kick, capturing tamely after a trademark stutter run-up.
Minutes later, Ronaldo hit his second equaliser deep into first-half damage time, heading towards the publish after which burying the rebound to make it 2-2 at halftime.
Mbappe put PSG again in entrance shortly after the break, turning his marker inside-out and laying on a straightforward end for Sergio Ramos, earlier than Hyun-soo Jang discovered a 3rd equaliser for the hosts.
But Mbappe thumped dwelling a penalty and Hugo Ekitike scored to make it 5-3 earlier than Brazilian striker Talisca grabbed the Riyadh staff’s fourth aim on the demise.
It was the primary outing in oil-rich Saudi for Ronaldo, who will make his Saudi Pro League debut for Al Nassr on Sunday after signing for greater than 200 million euros, in keeping with a supply near the membership.
The veteran Portuguese star shall be paid an extra 200 million euros, the supply informed AFP, to be an envoy for Saudi Arabia’s anticipated 2030 World Cup joint internet hosting bid with Egypt and Greece.
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