Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr draw with PSG as Neymar sits out despite Mbappe's absence

Saudi side gave debuts to Seko Fofana and Alex Telles at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan

Powered by automated translation

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr were held to a goalless draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in a pre-season friendly in Japan.

The Saudi Arabian side, preparing for the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League kick-off next month, fielded summer signings Marcelo Brozovic, Seko Fofana and Alex Telles at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, with the latter duo making their debut.

On Sunday, Telles became the latest new recruit at last season’s Pro League runners-up, joining the Riyadh club from Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Brazil international Neymar was an unused substitute for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), who were without Kylian Mbappe amid the star forward’s attempted push for a move from the French champions. There was a runout, however, for Mbappe’s 16-year-old brother Ethan, who was introduced just after the hour.

Ronaldo, the first true modern superstar addition to the Saudi top-flight when he signed for Nassr in December, was given 66 minutes, although he could not break the deadlock.

The Nassr captain, who scored 14 times in 16 league matches for the club last season, did force a fine save from PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma minutes before half-time.

At the other end, Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Al Aqidi saved in the first half from Carlos Soler and Noha Lemina. Lemina was later put through on goal, but sent his shot into the side-netting. In the second half, PSG went closest through Ismael Gharbi, when the teenager’s effort was repelled once more by Al Aqidi.

Nassr will no doubt be the happier of the two teams, following a difficult pre-season thus far. The capital club have been beaten twice this month: a 5-0 defeat to Celta Vigo and a 4-1 loss last week to Benfica.

For PSG, new manager Luis Enrique handed starts to summer signings Milan Skriniar, Lucas Hernandez and Marco Asensio, while recent recruit Manuel Ugarte was brought on in the second half. Fellow signing Kang-In Lee was an unused substitute.

Updated: July 25, 2023, 12:59 PM