37th match… Victory is Messi, MVP is Ronaldo

It was a ‘me-ho war’ that I will probably never see again. Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), who have been competing for the world’s top soccer star position for the past 10 years, met on the same ground after about two years. The stage where their 37th confrontation took place was the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. On the 20th, a friendly match was played here between Paris Saint-Germain (France) and Al Nasr-Al Hilal (above Saudi Arabia). Saint-Germain won 5-4 with Messi’s opening goal. Ronaldo scored two goals and was voted man of the match. Jang Hyun-soo (Al-Hilal), who represented Korea at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, also tasted a goal.

◇ Head-to-head score equals 23 goals,

Messi scored in the 3rd minute of the match. After colleague Neymar ran the ball over to the left side of the penalty area, he pushed it to the side of the advancing goalkeeper. Ronaldo, who captained Saudi Arabia, responded with an equalizer in the 34th minute. During an aerial contest, he directly solved the penalty kick obtained after being fouled by the opposing goalkeeper. A crowd of 68,000 won cheered at the unique “heavy rain ceremony.”

Online ticket reservations for this match were sold out in 10 minutes as 2 million people flocked to it. A special ticket to meet and take pictures with players from both teams in the locker room was sold for 10 million Saudi Riyals (approximately 3.3 billion won) to a local real estate conglomerate through a charity auction.

It is known that Saint-Germain received an invitation fee of about 10 million euros (about 13.4 billion won). In the 39th minute of the first half, Juan Bernat was sent off for rough defense, leaving them behind in numbers. However, Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe trio continued the offensive. In the 43rd minute of the first half, the ball raised by Mbappe to the goal was finished by captain and center back Marquinhos.

Ronaldo turned the game back to square one in extra time in the first half. A cross from the left was connected with a header, but the ball hit the bottom of the right post and bounced. Ronaldo scored his second goal as he stormed in just as the defender kicked the ball down and missed it.

Both teams had a goal feast in the second half. For Saint-Germain, Sergio Ramos (8 minutes in the second half), Mbappe (15 minutes in the second half) and Hugo Ekitique (33 minutes in the second half) scored. Jang Hyeon-soo (11 minutes in the second half) and Taliska (second half extra time) of the Saudi Union also shook the net. Ronaldo retired to the bench in the 16th minute and Messi in the 17th minute. In the past opponents, Messi leads with 17 wins, 9 draws and 11 losses. The two, who clashed in 37 matches, scored 23 goals each. 카지노사이트

◇’Menaldo’ friendship through social media

Messi and Ronaldo competed in the UEFA (European Football Federation) Champions League Group G match in December 2020. Ronaldo, who was a member of Juventus (Italy) at the time, scored two goals from penalties to beat Messi’s FC Barcelona (Spain) 3-0.

Ronaldo, who recently moved to the Middle East after leaving Europe, greeted Messi and was happy. After the game, he posted a goal ceremony, a scene of being selected as the best player in the game, and a picture of talking to Messi on his Instagram. He also uploaded a picture of him shoulder to shoulder with his teammate Ramos during his Real Madrid days. Ronaldo, who made his debut in the Al Nasr jersey, said, “I am so happy to be back on the pitch and even score!!! It was nice to meet old friends.”

It is known that Ronaldo, who will turn 38 next month, will receive 200 million euros (about 268 billion won) a year in salary and advertising until June 2025. He is expected to end his playing career in Saudi Arabia. Messi peaked his career by lifting the trophy at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It seems unlikely that Ronaldo and Messi will ever meet again in real life. The video of Messi’s hug with Ronaldo posted on Instagram on the 20th was like a goodbye message to an ‘old rival’.

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