In Saudi Arabia, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are playing.
Head-to-head matches between perhaps the two greatest players in history have been scarce ever since Ronaldo said goodbye to Real Madrid in 2018.
The exhibition match between Paris Saint-Germain and a combined XI comprising Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal players was their first encounter since they both called La Liga home, with the exception of Juventus’ 3-0 victory at Barcelona in 2020.
Therefore, even though it was merely a glorified friendly game, football fans were compelled to watch it since it might have been Messi and Ronaldo’s last direct matchup.
And wow, did it live up to expectations. Less than three minutes into the game, Messi scored the game’s first goal with a skillful finish, starting the celebration right away.
Ronaldo, though, who is never one to be outdone, made sure to put on a show of his own in what turned out to be his first appearance in a game setting since leaving Manchester United.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner also ramped up the flair with a lavish nutmeg that was ripped directly from his 2008 repertoire.
The ball slipped between the legs of a helpless Carlos Soler with a swift flash of the exquisite movement that became his signature throughout his first season at Old Trafford.
The King Fahd International Stadium crowd’s reaction when the skill was received with a loud gasp was, however, possibly even better than the nutmeg itself.
Video: Cristiano Ronaldo makes stadium gasp with filthy nutmeg
ronaldo nutmeg 😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/FZNhLZgWKP
— 🕊️🇳🇴 (@erlingtxt) January 19, 2023