Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for Al-Nassr FC in incredible fashion on Thursday night, scoring two goals in a friendly against Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain in a 5-4 PSG win showcasing the two superstars.
The friendly in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh is Ronaldo’s first game in the country since he signed with Al-Nassr weeks ago, and it’s the first match featuring Ronaldo and Messi since Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in Dec. of 2020.
Ronaldo’s first goal of the game came on a penalty, tying the match at one in the 34th minute:
Cristiano Ronaldo!!!!! https://t.co/jsPbH5JW7q
— GonçaloDias17 (@goncalo_diass17) January 19, 2023
He scored again in the waning moments of the first half, grabbing his own rebound to again knot the game, this time at two:
CRISTIANO RONALDO SCORES HIS 2ND GOAL OF THE GAME 🐐 https://t.co/DvxTDfigyp
— fan account (@Asensii20) January 19, 2023
What an introduction to Saudi Arabia for the Portuguese superstar. Messi scored the first goal of the game before the friendly was four minutes old.
The friendly is part of the state-sponsored Saudi festival known as Riyadh Seasons. It was originally scheduled for SPG’s January break last year, but was forced to be postponed due to COVID-19 delays, pushing it into the middle of the fixture because of congestion brought on by the World Cup.
It took some time for Ronaldo to make his Al-Nassr debut, thanks to a suspension that carried over from his Premier League days, but he is captaining the Riyadh All-Stars side. Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, have lost two recent games in Ligue 1 play to see their comfortable lead atop the French top flight table shrink to just three points.
The match is little more than a showcase event between two star-studded squads with two iconic players in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but both teams will hope to use the high-scoring affair as momentum headed back into their respective competitive league matches.