Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly hasn’t won over the whole of Saudi Arabia after he responded to fans singing Lionel Messi’s name.
Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards but was not present, having not made the 30 man shortlist for the first time since 2003.
However, the 38-year-old couldn’t avoid his long time rival’s triumph, as social media was flooded with congratulatory messages for Messi following a historic year which saw him help Argentina win the World Cup.
Ronaldo wasted no time in taunting Messi by using laughing emojis in response to an Instagram post that questioned Messi’s win.
Cristiano Ronaldo liked and laughed in the comments on a video criticizing Messi's eighth Ballon d'Or.
The journalist said that Messi scored six penalties in the World Cup, and should have five Ballon d'Ors, arguing that he took one from Haaland, Lewandowski, and Xavi/Iniesta. pic.twitter.com/Mif97wAj9p
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 31, 2023
His mockery came back to bite him in the round of 16 of the King Cup of Champions match against Steve Gerrad’s, Al-Ettifaq.
The two Saudi Pro League heavyweights clashed, with Sadio Mane’s extra-time goal delivering narrow victory for Ronaldo’s squad.
— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) October 31, 2023
At one point, Ronaldo was due to take a throw-in before passing the ball to a teammate and chants of ‘Messi!’ could be heard in the crowd.
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The Portugal star hit out at rival fans by first put his finger on his lips to tell them to be quiet. He then continued pointing his ear and waving his arm at the crowd to seemingly tell them to calm down the match praising Messi by gesturing a “shh” motion and signalling for them to calm down.
Al-Ettifaq fans started a "Messi, Messi" chant and this was Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction.pic.twitter.com/tlCNiWLOje
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) October 31, 2023
It is not the first time Messi’s name has been used by opposing fans. However, Tuesday’s taunts certainly carried more weight after Messi celebrated an historic eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday.