Cristiano Ronaldo appeared shocked after being awarded the Man of the Match for his performance in a glamorous Riyadh XI exhibition friendly against Lionel Messi’s PSG. Ronaldo struck a brace in the sport but still seemed perplexed when he was presented with a trophy within the post-match ceremony.
The veteran striker was making his long-awaited debut in Saudi Arabia following his free transfer switch to Al-Nassr in December. Nevertheless, he’s yet to play for his recent club resulting from a ban imposed by the English Football Association.
Ronaldo as a substitute made his bow as a part of a Riyadh XI, a team comprised of a few of Saudi Arabia’s best football talent from club teams Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal. Coincidentally, his first game within the country got here against long-term rival Messi and PSG.
An entertaining match ended 5-4 to 10-man PSG, with Ronaldo and Messi each getting on the scoresheet before the substitution of the Portuguese icon was booed by those contained in the stadium. The supporters didn’t have to wait long before Ronaldo re-emerged, though, as each teams got here back out for a prestigious award ceremony.
The Manchester United and Real Madrid legend was seen chatting with PSG stars Sergio Ramos and Keylor Navas, the latter of whom caught the striker with a horror elbow through the game which led to a penalty.
Nevertheless, it was at this point that Ronaldo’s name was read out by the announcer confirming him because the recipient of the Man of the Match award. Ronaldo seemed surprise that he had scooped the prize, in a game that also featured Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Ronaldo collected his award and posed for photographs with Saudi officials before heading back towards the group of players. It was a high quality reward for a good performance by the 37-year-old.
After Messi opened the scoring, Ronaldo scored twice in the primary half. Goalkeeper Navas caught the attacker within the face together with his elbow, and Ronaldo stepped up to attain the resultant spot-kick.
Marquinhos put the Ligue 1 champions ahead again soon after, before Ronaldo slammed home a rebound after his initial header struck the post.
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