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Sometimes there are good movies that you never get tired of watching, or dreams that you don’t want to wake up from, and the same can be said about a head-to-head meeting between Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – does anyone want this rivalry to end? So tonight (Thursday, 19:00) it will happen when Paris Saint-Germain meet the stars of Al Hilal and Al Nasser, and the Flea and CR7 will meet for perhaps the last time in their lives on the football field.
At no point in the history of the sport have we had two players who have collected all possible individual awards over such a long period of time. The two broke the statistics, took one of the other’s records and at the King Fahd Stadium we might get the final chapter in their rivalry, even if it is not an official match.
The first time the two met was more than 15 years ago in the semi-finals of the Champions League, when Manchester United qualified at the expense of Barcelona. One season later came the revenge of the Argentine who defeated the one who would become his bitter rival in the final.
During the last decade, Messi and Ronaldo played in 30 Clasico matches head-to-head, with the Portuguese scoring 18 goals in the league, and the Argentine 20. CR7 won on eight occasions, eight other matches ended in a draw and the Flea won 14 times. Even after Cristiano left Real, he faced his opponent, and this time in the group stage of the champions, when he scored a pair of penalties at Camp Nou on the way to 0:3. It was also the last meeting so far between the two.
In total, Messi and Ronaldo played against each other 36 times. The former scored 22 goals and the latter 21. The genius of PSG has 16 victories over the opponent and the phenomenon who recently signed in Al Nasser 11, with nine games ending in a draw. They met 18 times in the league, six times in the Champions League, 5 times in the King’s Cup, 5 times in the Spanish Super Cup and twice with the national teams.
Meanwhile, in Spain they are announcing that there is a particularly big feature ahead of the match because Musharraf Al-Jamdi, CEO of one of the largest real estate groups in Saudi Arabia, even bought a premium ticket at an auction for an unprecedented amount of 2.6 million euros. The ticket with all proceeds donated, including entry to the dressing room with the flea and the Argentinian as well as being on the pitch during the awards ceremony.