But his first game in Saudi Arabia was not in Al Nassr colours as he joined a team of all-stars from Riyadh’s two big clubs, Al Nassr and Al Hilal, to take on Paris Saint-Germain.
Argentina World Cup-winner Messi opened the scoring from Neymar’s pass with only two minutes on the clock.
The All Stars, made up of players from Al Hilal and Ronaldo’s new club Al Nassr, equalised when the Portugal captain crashed in a penalty after he was fouled by PSG keeper Keylor Navas.
Despite it only being a friendly PSG were reduced to 10 men when Juan Bernat saw red for a foul.
The French side went ahead again through a goal from centre-half Marquinhos at a corner.
Neymar then had a weak penalty saved by Mohammed al Owais after he was tripped in the area, and Ronaldo made it 2-2 before half-time when he converted the rebound after his header came back off a post.
Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos put PSG back in front, only for Jang Hyun-soo to equalise.
There was to be no hat-trick for Ronaldo with the 37-year-old withdrawn after an hour.
A Kylian Mbappe penalty and a goal from Hugo Ekitike put the visitors two ahead before Anderson Talisca pulled one back.
What was the point of this match?
“The point of the game was for Saudi Arabia to show off Cristiano Ronaldo. Watching some of the pictures from Riyadh this evening, there were quite a lot of empty seats.
“You had to wonder why this Saudi Arabian businessman Mushref Al-Ghamdi paid £2.2m at an auction for his VIP ticket. There looked to be hundreds if not thousands of empty seats there.
“If you happened to have had a season ticket at the King Fahd International Stadium, you’ve really been spoilt this week as it has hosted Barcelona vs Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup as well as Inter Milan vs AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup.
“PSG were paid €8m to fly over to Saudi Arabia to play in the game, and it’s all about the fact that Saudi Arabia want to host the World Cup in 2030 and Qatar, who own PSG, want to host the Olympics in 2036. It was about money and it was about showing off power.”