Cristiano Ronaldo ghosts in Al Hilal -Al Nassr final as fans taunt him with Messi chants

February 9, 2024

During a friendly in Riyadh on Thursday, Al Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo lost his composure as Al Hilal supporters chanted the name of their fiercest rival, Lionel Messi.

At a crowded Kingdom Arena, goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Salem Al Dawsari ended the tie in Hilal’s favor, causing Ronaldo, 39, to have a frustrating evening.

Towards the end of the game, Ronaldo was subjected to cries of “Messi, Messi, Messi” from Hilal supporters, which caused the Portuguese player to cup his palm to his ear and then urge them to continue singing.

Ronaldo was observed making gestures toward another group of Hilal supporters, suggesting that he and not Messi was the one making a living in the Saudi Pro League. Last summer, Hilal had planned to sign Messi prior to the the Argentine World Cup winner chose to move to Inter Miami in the Major League Soccer (MLS) instead of taking a pay cut.

During the interval, a visibly irate Ronaldo was also seen on camera returning to the changing room with an Al Hilal scarf that had been hurled at him from the bleachers as a towel.

Al Hilal supporters had previously provoked Ronaldo during a game. More Messi chants were directed at the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker during a match in April of last year, which destroyed Al Nassr’s hopes of winning the title with a 2-0 defeat.

Hilal leads the Pro League this year by seven points over Nassr. Ronaldo currently leads the league in goals scored with 20.

Earlier this month, Ronaldo was left out of what could have been his final confrontation with Lionel Messi when he watched from the stands as Al Nassr crushed Inter Miami 6-0 in a high-profile friendly in Riyadh.