Lionel Messi shares video of the PSG star embracing his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Al-Nassr forward said it was ‘nice to see’ his old friend… as the pair enjoy what could be their final reunion on the pitch in nine-goal thriller
Lionel Messi has shared a video where he embraces his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo before what could have been the final time they share a football pitch.
Paris Saint-Germain beat a Saudi Arabia All-Stars team in a nine-goal thriller on Thursday in what was Ronaldo’s first game since moving to Saudi Arabia.
The pair put on a show in Riyadh with both men getting onto the scoresheet, in a match that transported fans back to the heyday of their storied rivalry during El Clasico games between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Lionel Messi has shared a video where he embraces Cristiano Ronaldo before what could be the final match the legendary football superstars play against each other in legendary careers
Ronaldo said it was ‘nice to see some old friends’ along with with a photo of him with Messi
After dominating the footballing landscape for over a decade, the pair are now reaching the final years of their incredible careers, and the long-time rivals looked very happy to share the pitch together for what likely will be the last time.
Following the game, Messi shared an Instagram story to his 421 million followers where the pair shake hands and share a hug before the match got underway.
The clip was previously shared on Paris Saint-Germain’s Twitter account, in which Ronaldo is also seen hugging Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
It came after Ronaldo also took to social media, where he shared a picture of the pair to his 537 million followers, in which he captioned it: ‘So happy to be back on the pitch and on the score sheet!! And nice to see some old friends.’
Ronaldo and Messi share words during PSG’s exhibition with a Saudi Arabia All-Stars team
Their careers have long been intertwined, with debates for more than a decade over which of the pair is the greatest of his generation, or even of all time.
They have shared 12 Ballon d’Or’s together (Messi with seven and Ronaldo five) and long competed against each other in LaLiga when Real Madrid signed the Portuguese great in 2009.
After years of exchanging records and trophies amongst their clubs, their rivalry started to slow down in 2018 when Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus.
The pair are now heading in separate directions with Messi, a recent World Cup winner with Argentina, still playing his football at the highest level with Paris Saint-Germain.
While Ronaldo, two year’s Messi’s senior, has now moved out of the European game following his tumultuous end to life at Manchester United and move to Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo and Messi’s careers have long been intertwined as two of the best players of all time
The pair are unlikely to play against each other unless Messi also decides to move away from European football in the future and join the same league as Ronaldo, or if the pair decide to continue their international careers long enough for Portugal to face Argentina.
Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr on a record breaking deal worth £173m-per-year, impressed by picking up his man of the match and notching two goals.
In the 11th minute, Ronaldo picked up the ball on the halfway line and cleverly nutmegged Carlos Soler, prompting a buoyant roar from the Saudi supporters.
During their careers they have dominated the football landscape due to their achievements
He then found the net with a smart finish in the 34th minute from the penalty spot, cancelling out Messi’s third-minute penalty and giving the new kingdom a taste of what the Saudi Pro League is in for.
The Portuguese superstar was awarded the spot kick when he rose up above the defenders and was accidentally punched in the face by his former Real Madrid team-mate Keylor Navas.
The veteran netted again in stoppage time at the end of the first half before making way in the second.