PSG – Saudi League: Messi achieves his 17th victory against Cristiano | Sports

Saudi Arabia lives not only from Aramco. Not only from the oil that its gigantic flag oil company extracts. According to the princes who govern the country, he lives on a dream of transformation towards an economy based on entertainment, sports, culture and tourism. It would seem that the Saudi monarchs have been inspired by the Spain dreamed of by the technocrats of 70 years ago. Only Manolete and Lola Flores are missing. At the moment, they have the Super Cup and they have Cristiano Ronaldo. They just signed him for Al-Nassr. This Thursday they presented it in the most spectacular way they could afford: a friendly against Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain, whom they intend to sign for the other great local club, Al-Hilal, once the Argentine fulfills his two-year contract. seasons with the Paris club, in June.

The meeting, held in Riyadh, honored the long list of confrontations between Cristiano and Messi. It finished 5-4. There were sublime gestures, fantastic goals, gnashing of teeth, punches, penalties and expulsions. In tune with tradition, the best man won: Messi. The Argentine, who played his first game after winning the World Cup in Qatar, made it 1-0, breaking away from the near post to beat the goalkeeper after an assist from Neymar. The hug that the two of them gave each other with Mbappé, dressed in the new Nike-Jordan kit, summed up the visual power of the project conceived by the sheikhs of the royal family of Qatar, Arab pioneers of this idea of ​​economic overcoming of oil and oil. gas through the entertainment industry. To achieve this they pay the highest salaries and prizes in the history of football. Neymar pockets 40 million euros net per year, Mbappé 50, Messio the same, and Cristiano around 100. Inflation continues.

The show began with a Qatari-Saudi fraternization ritual. Local Entertainment Minister Turki bin Abdul Mohsen, who also owns Almería, appeared on the grass holding hands with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Between the two of them they received the players, who hugged each other since most of them had known each other for years. Ramos and Keylor Navas were reunited with his old comrade, Cristiano, and Cristiano was reunited with Messi once again. After 36 games, something similar to friendship has blossomed between the two. The moment had its emotionality. If fate does not prevent it, this game played in the heat of an enthusiastic crowd of 65,000, will be the last of the most fabulous series of duels ever waged by two Ballon d’Ors.

Of the 36 matches, the Argentine won 17, Cristiano took ten, and nine drew. In Riyadh he gave the impression that there would be no discussion possible. PSG swept, grown from midfield thanks to the support and triangulations of Renato Sanches, Fabián and Soler. If these players manage to stagger to shorten the team and give continuity to the participation of their forwards, PSG will solve its most pressing problem and become a serious contender to win the Champions League.

a trickle of occasions

Messi, Neymar and Mbappé produced a stream of resounding occasions. The game was not a one-way street because Cristiano and Pity Martínez managed to occupy the rival defenders. A fortuitous punch from Keylor to Cristiano when they were both fighting for a centered ball left the Portuguese with a bruised cheekbone and led to a penalty being awarded. Cristiano executed the 1-1 and then another accident occurred. Bernat was sent off for taking down Aldawsari when he was facing Keylor. For an hour, the Saudi league team had one more player. The people in the stands, who waved Brazilian and Argentine flags, came crashing down. Messi and Neymar balanced the scale. Marquinhos made it 2-1, Cristiano made it 2-2, Ramos made it 3-2 after a combination of dribbles by Mbappé, Hang-Hyung-soo made it 3-3, Mbappé made it 4-3 from a penalty caused by Messi, Ekitike made it 5 -3 and Talisca on 5-4.

The ending exuded sadness. The lights went out, the people left, and Cristiano said goodbye to his old rivals and comrades like the hero who goes into exile on an island and goes to the pier to say goodbye to his family, who returns to the forbidden metropolis. He stays in Arabia. PSG returns to Europe. This Monday the season resumes in Lens, in the round of 16 of the French Cup.

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