In Saudi Arabia, Messi and Ronaldo made the show for their reunion

FRANCE FIFE/AFP Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) walks past Riyadh All-Star Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the Riyadh Season Cup football match between Riyadh All-Stars and Paris Saint-Germain at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on January 19, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP)


Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo during the PSG match in Saudi Arabia, January 19, 2023.

FOOTBALL – Even if Paris Saint-Germain did not cure their defensive problems, the friendly won against the Saudi selection (5-4) this Thursday 19 January was not lacking in twists and turns. A show allowed by the presence of the two stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who each scored, during this probable last duel.

In terms of entertainment and marketing, this prestigious match was a success. The stadium filled up and trembled with happiness with every ball from “CR7”, author of a brace, PSG cashed in more than 10 million euros, welcome while financial fair play watches closely, and released its fourth knit, a black streak with luminous lines that evoke the illuminated Eiffel Tower.

Despite the defeat, even the Saudi public, especially those who came to see the clash between Ronaldo and Messi, enjoyed themselves until the end. The new world champion shone first, scoring from the start following a superb shadow pass from Neymar (3rd).

Ronaldo responds blow by blow

Then CR7 equalized on penalty (34th sp), after being involuntarily boxed by Keylor Navas on a rebound, before repeating the gift of Ramos, another former Real teammate.

However, this away trip, as PSG suffered their first two defeats of the season in January, has not provided an answer to the Parisians’ defensive fragility. Against an assembly made up of players from the two big names in the Saudi capital, al-Nassr and al-Hilal, PSG dominated, even with ten players, but conceded many chances.

The defensive concerns of Christophe Galtier’s team have crossed the desert, such as Sergio Ramos, scorer but passive or guilty on goals of the All Season Ryad formation. At least he reassured about them “gnac”. They scored four goals from shorthanded, after the exclusion of Juan Bernat (39th).

At 2-2 Ronaldo, still wedged between Ramos and Marquinhos, hits the post with his head, then the Spaniard completely rips the rebound and offers the goal to CR7 (45th + 6), who has to play his first Sunday match in the Saudi Championship with al-Nassr against al-Ettifaq.

Captain Kylian Mbappe

Ramos is still easily beaten by South Korean Jang Hyun-soo on a 3-3 draw (56th), who also pushes behind, in vain. The action that leads to Bernat’s red card also betrays PSG fever, the chained fouls by Achraf Hakimi on Gonzalo Martinez then by the Spaniards on Mohammed al-Dawsari are coarse. Last defender, Bernat was logically excluded.

Neymar, who hasn’t been in form since his elimination in the quarter-finals at the World Cup with Brazil, has, a rare thing, missed a penalty, which was stopped by the goalkeeper of the Saudi selection (45°+1).

Not all is negative in the performance of PSG, who play on Monday in Lens against Pays de Cassel (R1, 6th division), in the Coupe de France. Kylian Mbappé, briefly captain in the second half, after the exit of Marquinhos and before leaving in turn (62nd), has rediscovered the brilliance of him.

He offered to “Sign” the goal to make it 2-1 (43rd) and to Ramos the 3-2 (54th) then he scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-3 (60th). In other good news, the youngsters entered well at the end of the match, where Ismaël Gharbi offered a nice opening to the K.-O goal. to Hugo Ekitike (78th).

See also on The Huffpost :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *