Amitabh Bachchan Cristiano Ronaldo

Images: Amitabh Bachchan meets Ronaldo, Messi at PSG vs Riyadh Season game

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It was a star-studded evening at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday (January 19). A football exhibition game pitted Lionel Messi against Cristiano Ronaldo and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan too was in attendance.

Amitabh took to his Twitter handle to share a video and pictures from the match where he was seen shaking hands with Messi, who recently led Argentina to FIFA World Cup 2022 title in Qatar, and Portugal captain Ronaldo.

Also read: Why Deepika Padukone was invited to FIFA World Cup final, what she said

According to the actor, he was invited to inaugurate the exhibition match which was played between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Riyadh Season in front of over 68,000 spectators.

Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, there were Brazil’s Neymar, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe and other players who enthralled the football fans in Saudi Arabia.

Also read: All winners of FIFA World Cup 2022 awards & prize money details

Amitabh Bachchan Cristiano Ronaldo

Amitabh posted pictures from the game and wrote on Twitter, “An evening in Riyadh .. ” what an evening .. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mbape, Neymar all playing together .. and yours truly invited guest to inaugurate the game .. PSG vs Riyadh Seasons .. Incredible !!! (sic).”

PSG wins 5-4

Talking about the match, grimacing in pain from his bruised cheekbone, Ronaldo steadied himself before scoring from the penalty spot for his first goal in Saudi Arabia.

Messi had already scored early when Ronaldo was flattened boxing-match style by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas after about 30 minutes.

Navas caught Ronaldo flush in the face with his forearm under a high ball. Both went down like felled boxers. Ronaldo held his head, got back up, did a wide yawn as if to test his sore left cheek, and sent his former Real Madrid teammate Navas the wrong way.

By the end of the first half, Ronaldo’s cheekbone was bright apple red but he was all smiles after netting his second goal, smashing in a rebound when his header came back off the post.

Poking his tongue out, Ronaldo wheeled away in delight and was mobbed by teammates at the corner flag. When PSG star Mbappe checked on the state of Ronaldo’s cheek just before the second half, Ronaldo milked the attention from France’s World Cup star and pointed to the red mark.

Mbappe smiled at him as if to say “You’ll be fine” and Ronaldo raised his arm in triumph like a heavyweight champion.

Messi’s Qatari-backed PSG won 5-4 against a combined XI of Saudi Arabian teams Al Nassr and Al Hilal, captained by Al Nassr’s new signing Ronaldo.

Ronaldo could end his storied career in Riyadh after signing a deal worth a reported $200 million a year, swapping Europe’s elite club competition for the Asian Champions League.

He makes his Saudi league debut for Al Nassr on Sunday against Ettifaq, far from the fields where he shone for Manchester United and Madrid.

Messi-Ronaldo rivalry

The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry has been among the greatest ever. Between them, they have 12 Ballon d’Or awards Messi a record seven, Ronaldo five and have won a combined 56 major trophies.

Lionel Messi PSG vs Riyadh Season
Photo: Twitter/PSG

Ronaldo won the Champions League five times, compared to Messi’s four. Messi is the all-time El Clasico top scorer with 26 goals for Barca, eight more than Ronaldo for Madrid.

Ronaldo won the European Championship in 2016 but Messi was brilliant in Argentina’s Copa America win in 2021 and its 2022 World Cup success. Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football with 118 goals, while Messi’s seven at the World Cup took him to third overall with 98.

(With agency inputs)

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