Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #213: Riyadh XI v PSG

It was an exhibition match packed with superstars that brought two of the greatest players of all time toe to toe for what was possibly one last dance – and as spectacles go, it didn’t disappoint, with nine goals, a red card, scored penalties, missed penalties, and of course, a SIUUUU.

Messi v Ronaldo has been the match up that has dominated the European footballing landscape for well over a decade now, but following the latter’s move to Saudi Arabia, it felt like we may have seen the last of these two greats facing off on the pitch. But thanks to a special exhibition match, that was not so, with Ronaldo lining up in an all-star XI from Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr to face off against the star-studded line-up of European heavyweights, PSG.

PSG were suitably dressed for the occasion, giving a debut to their recently unveiled 22/23 fourth kit from Jordan. And it didn’t take long for the scoring to start; within the opening four minutes, Lionel Messi pounced onto a through ball from Neymar to slot home the opener, with the onlooking crowds only too happy to see the World Cup winner showing his finishing ability.

But, as has been the case for years now, it was a matter of anything you can do better I can do better, as Ronaldo equalised from the spot – delivering his first trademark “SIUUU” celebration to the Saudi Arabian masses – before notching again to bring the scores level once more just before half time after Marquinhos had given the visitors the lead, that coming after Juan Bernat had been given his marching orders following a cynical challenge on the breaking Saudi international Salem Al Dawsari.

Ultimately, PSG had too much class, and ran out as 5-4 winners, with goals from Sergio Ramos, Kylian Mbappé and Hugo Ekitike seeing them clear.

While Ronaldo awaits his competitive debut following his high-profile switch to Al-Nassr, which will come this Sunday, when they host Ettifaq at Mrsool Park, this match served its purpose, providing entertainment to the middle-east fans while also giving old rivalries one last moment in the spotlight.

framed 34-min.jpg
framed 21-min.jpg
framed 44-min.jpg
framed 31-min.jpg
framed 32-min.jpg
framed 26-min.jpg
framed 28-min.jpg
framed 60-min.jpg
framed 25-min.jpg
framed 27-min.jpg
framed 41-min.jpg
framed 30-min.jpg
framed 24-min.jpg
framed 42-min.jpg
framed 48-min.jpg
framed 62-min.jpg
framed 58-min.jpg
framed 33-min.jpg
framed 22-min.jpg
framed 57-min.jpg framed 56-min.jpg framed 55-min.jpg framed 54-min.jpg framed 52-min.jpg framed 51-min.jpg framed 50-min.jpg framed 49-min.jpg
framed 61-min.jpg
framed 35-min.jpg
framed 23-min.jpg
framed 59-min.jpg
framed 43-min.jpg
framed 40-min.jpg
framed 38-min.jpg
framed 29-min.jpg
framed 36-min.jpg
framed 37-min.jpg
framed 39-min.jpg

Photography by Giacomo Cosua for SoccerBible.

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.