Ronaldo shares defiant message after Lionel Messi chants in Riyadh Cup game
February 11, 2024 at 8:39 PM
- Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken for the first time since the feisty Al-Hilal match
- Ronaldo was subjected to Lionel Messi’s chants before being booked for dissent
- His side, Al-Nassr, lost the game 2-0 ahead of return to competitive football this week
Cristiano Ronaldo has shared a defiant message on Instagram after having an eventful match against Al-Hilal in the Riyadh Cup finals.
Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr suffered a 2-0 defeat to their Saudi Pro League rivals at the Kingdom Arena on February 8, much to the frustration of the Portuguese icon.
Al-Hilal scored two first half goals through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Salem Al Dawsari to get the better of Ronaldo’s side for the second time this season.
The game was marked by controversial moments, with Ronaldo responding to a section of the fans chanting his arch-rival’s name, Lionel Messi. The 39-year-old appeared visibly furious before saying,
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“I am here, not Messi.”
He was also booked by referee Tori Penso for booting the ball to the crowd. The two players, Ronaldo and Messi, were set to meet on February 19 for a friendly game in Riyadh, but injuries saw the former miss out on the game entirely. Messi was only introduced in the 84th minute in a game where Al-Nassr beat Inter Miami 6-0.
After the Al-Hilal game, Ronaldo went back to training, sharing a message on Instagram about his plans after the setback.
“Focused on the job ahead!”
The Faris Najd are set to return to competitive action this week when they play Al Feiha in the AFC Champions League play-offs. They’ll then play Al Fateh in the Saudi Pro League next week, where they are currently in second place with 46 points, seven points behind Al-Hilal.
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Ronaldo calls for referee to be sent home
In the same game, Sports Brief reported that Ronaldo appeared to gesture for the referee to be sent home. The American official, Tori Penso, booked the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for dissent.
A visibly agitated official waved off Penso as he struggled to assert his dominance in the game.