The players who have been the two award lifters in the last six Ballon d’Or trophies between them met head-to-head for the 27th time in their careers in Old Trafford, encounters in which the Portuguese and Real Madrid player has scored a total of 15 goals and the Argentine and Barca star, 17.
However, both stars could not make an impact in the game after playing just 45 minutes as Sporting Braga forward Éder took over from CR7, while Benfica’s Nicolás Gaitán stepped in for ‘La Pulga’.
Messi had the best chance of the first half, with an effort off the woodwork ten minutes in. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, also had an opportunity to score after receiving the ball at the far post but overcomplicated things and lost out, eventually ending up sending his strike over skyscrapers when a teammate was better placed.
Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team-mate Pepe was also substituted halfway through the friendly match, his position filled by Southampton defender José Fonte. Portugal ended the game as 1-0 victors over the Albicelestes as Raphael Guerreiro got the only goal of the game in Injury time.