Ronaldo, Messi roll back the years in thriller

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi transported enthusiasts lower back in time to the heyday of their storied rivalry, as each forwards were given on the scoresheet in an exhibition match on Thursday earlier than Hugo Ekitike earned 10-guy PSG a five-4 win over the Riyadh Season Team.

While the suit might not have an awful lot importance for the teams concerned, football fanatics round the arena were given lots of bang for his or her greenback as a tale that has ruled the game for over a decade seemed to return to an end in a memorable goalfest.

In an movement-packed first half on the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, desires from Messi and Marquinhos had been cancelled out via a Ronaldo brace, while PSG’s Juan Bernat changed into sent off for a lunging address on Saudi global Salem Al-Dawsari.

Both groups stored their foot on the gasoline in the 2nd half of, however Ekitike’s 78th-minute strike eventually made the distinction on the night time.

“We saw lots of dreams in a superb stadium with an awesome environment,” PSG educate Cristophe Galtier stated. “This nighttime, we played in a active stadium with lots of support. I loved the way that they honoured the numerous stars that have been at the pitch.”

Decked in a brand new black and gold kit, PSG made a blistering start to the sport, racing into the lead in the 0.33 minute way to a deft finish from Messi. Played thru on purpose by Neymar, Messi was capable of poke the ball past goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Owais, who he final confronted in Saudi Arabia’s surprise World Cup win over Argentina in November.

Despite going behind early, the Riyadh Season Team – a blended Saudi Pro League XI featuring players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal – had severa possibilities. Ronaldo become an ever-gift hazard and received a penalty whilst goalkeeper Keylor Navas clattered into him.

Sporting a bright red bruise on his cheek as a result of the collision, Ronaldo picked himself as much as calmly convert the spot kick and stage the sport. Bernat became shown a pink card proper after the equaliser, but the Ligue 1 club replied nicely to going a man down, scoring through defender Marquinhos.

Their lead might not ultimate long, as Ronaldo once again levelled the sport at the verge of halftime, hammering home a rebound after Sergio Ramos botched a truthful clearance.

The desires persisted to return thick and speedy after the damage, as Ramos turned in a Kylian Mbappe cross earlier than South Korean Jang Hyun-soo answered with a near-put up header from a nook to make it 3-three.

A handball by way of Ali Al-Bulaihi gave the traffic a penalty, which was expertly dispatched via Mbappe on the hour. It changed into Mbappe’s ultimate contribution, as he turned into taken off rapidly after, in conjunction with teammates Messi and Neymar, as well as Ronaldo.

Ekitike then extended PSG’s lead to five-three with a thumping end following a lung-busting run from the midway line earlier than Anderson Talisca scored a overdue consolation intention for the Saudis in delivered time.

Though he turned into not able to get his newest bankruptcy in Saudi Arabia off to a triumphing begin, 37-yr-old Ronaldo will take heart from his performance as he prepares to make his first aggressive look for Al Nassr once they host Al Ettifaq on Sunday.

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