Messi, Ronaldo enter scoresheet as PSG overcome Saudi All-Star XI
Footballing superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo entered the scoresheet in a thrilling nine-goal exhibition match between Paris Saint-Germain and Riyadh All-Star XI on Thursday. Messi got a third-minute lead for PSG. Ronaldo, who was playing his first game in Saudi, scored a brace but couldn't avoid his side's 4-5 defeat to the Parisians. Both were subbed off in the second half. Here's more.
How did the match pan out?
Messi latched on to Neymar's pass and converted the opener early on. PSG were then reduced to 10 men after Juan Bernat was sent off near half-time. The Parisians added their second via Marquinhos, but Ronaldo scored twice to make it 2-2 at the break. Post-half-time, Sergio Ramos, Kylian Mbappe, and Hugo Ekitike put PSG in the lead, while Riyadh XI scored twice.
Ronaldo shines in his first match in Saudi
Ronaldo dazzled while playing for Al Nassr-Al Hilal XI in the star-studded game. He scored a brace to be adjudged Player of the Match. Ever since joining Al-Nassr, Ronaldo has been made to wait for his competitive debut owing to a suspension from his time at Manchester United. He will be debuting for Al-Nassr against Ettifaq at Mrsool Park on Sunday.
Ronaldo becomes highest paid footballer ever!
Five-time Ballon d'Or Ronaldo signed a two and a half years contract with Al-Nassr worth over 200 million euros ($214.04 million), including commercial deals. His contract runs until 2025, which ensures that he takes more than $1 million per week. Interestingly, Ronaldo was earning an eye-popping $605,000 per week at Manchester United. It's the biggest salary ever in the history of football.
A look at Ronaldo's numbers in 2022-23
Ronaldo was a shadow of himself in the 2022-23 season. He missed pre-season training due to personal issues and was then slowly introduced by Erik ten Hag. Ronaldo managed three goals and two assists in 16 appearances across competitions for United. The tally includes a solitary goal in the Premier League in 10 appearances. Meanwhile, he scored twice in the UEFA Europa League.
Messi's emphatic numbers in 2022-23
Messi has managed 13 goals and 14 assists in all competitions for the French giants in 2022-23. He has netted eight goals in the Ligue 1. He also has the joint most assists in the French top flight alongside teammate Neymar (10). Messi also scored a goal in the Trophee des Champions. He has registered four goals and as many assists in the Champions League.
Messi was awarded FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in Qatar
Messi won his second Golden Ball award in the FIFA World Cup 2022, having been a recipient in 2014. As per Squawka, he is the first player to win multiple Player of the Tournament awards. He made seven goals and three assists. Messi (13) is now Argentina's top scorer in FIFA WC history, having gone past Gabriel Batistuta (10) in the semi-final versus Croatia.