Cristiano Ronaldo's Saudi Arabia debut tonight was memorable for a number of reasons.
Not only did he find the back of the net twice, he picked up an unwanted souvenir from one of his former teammates.
As the first half of the friendly with PSG approached half time, the Portuguese superstar was punched by goalkeeper Keylor Navas, with the contact being enough to give the hosts a penalty and Ronaldo a big, black eye.
It was an uncharacteristic error from Navas which epitomised the insanity of the ninety minutes.
In addition to nine fantastic goals, we were also treated to a red card, a stunning atmosphere and some of the best players on the planet going hammer and tongs.
Superman Punch #PSGRiyadhSeasonTeam #Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/WyUAoYQW1E— Bernard Colas (@BernardCls) January 19, 2023
They included Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi, who opened the scoring with a lovely, guided finish after just three minutes.
Both he and Ronaldo showed glimpses of real quality throughout, with Ronaldo's second, a trademark blast from close range, an example of just how devastating a finisher he still is.
There were fears that those days were behind the six-time Ballon d'Or winner when he left Manchester United for Al Nassr last month.
But according to TalkTV host and long-time Ronaldo fan Piers Morgan, we should expect more performances like tonight's in the weeks and months ahead.
"I do believe that he’s (Ronaldo) driven more by records and legacy than he is by money," said Morgan in a recent interview with talkSPORT.
"He just happens to be getting a stupendous payday to build football there from a very good platform of beating the World Champions (Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina in their opening game of the 2022 World Cup).
"So things did change a lot in the last few months in terms of the narrative of football in the Middle East. It was a tremendous World Cup for the region generally, so it looks a little less crazy than it would have done six months ago when Saudi were a complete irrelevance in football."
Next up for Ronaldo's new side is a clash with 10th placed Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro-League on Sunday.
Al Nassr currently sit second in the table, trailing league leaders Al-Ittihad by just a point.
Meanwhile, Navas' PSG turn their attention to French Cup action.
They travel to US Pays de Cassel for their Round of 32 match on Monday.
Featured Image Credit: beIN Sports
Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Keylor Navas, Paris Saint-Germain, Al Nassr, Football, Saudi Arabia