Cristiano Ronaldo 'happy' to score against PSG and see old pal Messi again

Al Nassr's new signing converted a penalty in exhibition match against Messi's PSG but can't prevent defeat

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Cristiano Ronaldo declared he was "so happy" to be back on the pitch and on the scoresheet as he marked his debut on Saudi Arabian soil with a goal against Paris Saint-Germain in Thursday's high-profile friendly.

The 37-year-old Portuguese striker converted from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark after taking a whack in the face from PSG goalkeeper Kaylor Navas. He added a second in first-half injury time, smashing home a rebound after his initial header hit the post.

Ronaldo, who late last month signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, captained a composite side comprising players from his new club and cross-city rivals Al Hilal.

The game at Riyadh's King Fahd Stadium also saw him renew his rivalry with Lionel Messi, who was also amongst the goals as his PSG side ran out 5-4 winners, though the pair shared a warm embrace on the pitch.

"So happy to be back on the pitch, and on the score sheet!! And nice to see some old friends!" Ronaldo tweeted.

The match, entitled the Riyadh Season Cup, appeared to be close to a sell-out, with French champions PSG fielding a near full-strength line-up. Their starting XI included recent World Cup winner Messi, Qatar 2022 runner-up and top scorer Kylian Mbappe, and Brazil star Neymar.

Ronaldo signed one of the most lucrative deals in sports history to join Al Nassr, said to be worth more than $200 million per year.

He is in line to make his debut for his new side on Saturday when Al Nassr, who sit second in the Saudi Pro League, host 10th-placed Ettifaq at Mrsool Park.

Updated: January 20, 2023, 6:37 AM
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