Cristiano Ronaldo banned and fined for response to Lionel Messi chants

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Thursday’s game against Al-Hazm (Image: Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been handed a one-match ban by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF). He was also slapped with a fine of 30,000 Saudi Riyals (£6,300) for his celebratory actions during a match on Sunday.

Ronaldo caused ‘public excitement by gesture’ according to the SAFF (Image: NOT_MOTD/X)

The ferocious rivalry between the two football giants has monopolised the sport for nearly 20 years, with either Messi or Ronaldo claiming the Ballon D’Or between 2008-2017. They had both won five awards at the close of this era, until Luka Modric ended their dominance. However, Messi has since added another three awards to his tally.

The duo gave fans unforgettable games when playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona, but their on-pitch rivalry concluded when Ronaldo transferred to Juventus in 2018. The Portuguese superstar signed back onto Manchester United in 2021 after a 13-year absence, although he pressed for an exit after just 18 months.

He then kick-started the Saudi movement, paving the way for many players to move from Europe to the Middle East. Messi was also offered a hefty contract, but he declined it and instead opted to join Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.