Anderson Talisca stepped in the boots of Cristiano Ronaldo as Al-Nassr whitewashed Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami side in a friendly match staged at the Kingdom Arena, Riyadh.
Talisca ensured the Knights of Najd did not miss the presence of their talisman, leading the demolition exercise with a hattrick as the Saudi Pro League side posted a comprehensive 6-0 win.
The Riyadh Season game dubbed the ‘Last Dance’ battle between Ronaldo and Messi, retained its excitement despite the football legends’ little to no participation.
According to GOAL, Ronaldo was sidelined due to a muscle complaint, leaving Messi as the anticipated star.
However, Messi, who was declared unfit prior to the start of the game, commenced the match from the bench.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo’s teammates ensured the game lived up to its spectacle with a superlative display, per Sporting News.
How Ronaldo-less Al Nassr ripped Inter Miami apart
Portuguese forward Otavio opened the scoring within three minutes, executing a superb curler into the top corner after a pass from Marcelo Brozovic.
Talisca extended the lead shortly afterwards after a neat interposition play before former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte added a third for Al-Nassr in just 13 minutes.
Maintaining their momentum, the Arab Cup champions further increased their lead with a penalty converted by Talisca in the 51st minute, turning the tie into a complete bloodbath.
Saudi forward Mohammed Maran contributed a header, delighting the Al-Nassr-dominated crowd in the Kingdom Arena, with the scoreline reading 5-0.
Talisca completed his hattrick with a close range before paying tribute to his ‘partner in crime’ Ronaldo by hitting the Siuu celebration, securing a commanding lead and sealing the demolition exercise.
With seven minutes remaining, Inter Miami introduced Lionel Messi, but the eight-time Ballon d’Or recipient couldn’t alter the outcome of the already-decided match.