Cristiano Ronaldo launches medal into crowd and responds to Lionel Messi jibes

Cristiano Ronaldo was fuming after Al-Nassr’s defeat to Al-Hilal (Image: X: @RONALDOthabeast)

Cristiano Ronaldo launched his runners-up medal into the crowd after missing out on the Riyadh Seasons Cup. The Portuguese’s Al-Nassr side were beaten by Al-Hilal, with spectators giving him a hard time towards the start of the game by chanting support for bitter rival Lionel Messi.

Messi and Inter Miami fared poorly at the three-team tournament, losing 4-3 to Al-Hilal and 6-0 to Al-Nassr as part of their MLS pre-season preparation. But that didn’t stop crowd members showing support for the Argentine during last Thursday’s all-Saudi showdown.

As chants of ‘Messi, Messi, Messi’ rang out around the Kingdom Arena, Ronaldo responded by appearing to shout: “I am here, not Messi.” The duo have scrapped to be considered the greatest of all time throughout the course of their careers, with Messi’s haul of eight Ballon d’Ors overshadowing Ronaldo’s five.

Things went from bad to worse for the Al-Nassr forward as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Salem Aldawsari netted in the first half to clinch a 2-0 win for Al-Hilal, which won them the Riyadh Seasons Cup.

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Saudi crowds chanted for Lionel Messi despite Inter Miami’s heavy defeat to Al-Nassr (Image: Getty)

Ronaldo had to watch on after the final whistle while Al-Hilal players collected their winners’ medals, while Milinkovic-Savic was named MVP and Aleksandar Mitrovic proclaimed Player of the Tournament.

Footage circulating on social media shows Ronaldo storming off the pitch, removing his runners-up medal and launching it high into the stands. Team-mates Anderson Talisca and Alex Telles seemed to be caught off guard as the consolation prize was tossed aside.

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Ronaldo leads the Saudi Pro League scoring charts this term with 20 goals in 18 matches. A collection of superstar forwards who headed to the Middle East last summer, including Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane, have so far failed to keep pace with the 39-year-old.

But his goals are yet to translate to league success. Al-Nassr were edged out by Al-Ittihad last season, and they once again face disappointment with Al-Hilal seven points clear at the top of the table, even without the help of injured star Neymar.

Ronaldo hits ‘Siu’ celebration after scoring free kick

Ronaldo reportedly signed an eye-watering £173million-a-year contract with Al-Nassr after being released by Manchester United in 2022. It remains to be seen whether he sees out his career in Saudi Arabia.

Former Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia didn’t seem to think so, insisting Ronaldo would one day ‘return to Europe’. The veteran’s current deal runs until 2025, taking him beyond his 40th birthday.