Al Bulayhi: The Player Who Made Messi and Ronaldo React, Leading to Red Cards

Al Bulayhi: The Player Who Made Messi and Ronaldo React, Leading to Red Cards

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at April 9, 2024 at 8:25 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Ali Al-Bulaihi logo
A. Bulaihi
-DSaudi Arabia logo
Saudi Arabia Super Cup logo
KSA Super Cup
Saudi Arabia
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logo
Al-Hilal Saudi FC
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia logo
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Professional League logo
KSA Professional League
Saudi Arabia
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had a moment to forget against Ali Al Bulayhi
  • He even landed Ronaldo in trouble with CR7 seeing red in the Saudi Super Cup
  • Sports Brief takes a look at how Messi and Cristiano reacted when they faced him

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have long been hailed as the titans of football, dominating the sport for nearly two decades with their unparalleled talent and skill.

The Portuguese phenom and mercurial Argentine engaged in a spirited rivalry during their peak years, sparking endless debates over who reigns supreme on the pitch.

Ali Al Bulayhi, Saudi Super Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo, red card, Lionel Messi, Saudi Pro league, Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Argentina, 2022 FIFA World Cup, red card.
Ali Al Bulayhi has squared off with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with varying outcomes. Photos by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images and @Troll_Futballl/Twitter
Source: Getty Images

As they enter the twilight of their illustrious careers, Ronaldo finds himself in Saudi Arabia while Messi plies his trade in the United States, yet they continue to defy age and expectations.

Throughout their careers, they have faced formidable opposition, with defenders employing various tactics to thwart their brilliance on the field.

One such defender is Saudi Arabian stalwart Ali Al Bulayhi, who has had encounters with both Messi and Ronaldo in recent years.

In a Saudi Super Cup semi-final clash between Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr on Monday, April 8, Al Bulayhi crossed paths with CR7, ultimately getting the better of the seasoned forward as Ronaldo received a red card, the Sun reports.

It's a testament to Bulayhi's prowess to disrupt even the most formidable attackers, prompting intrigue into how both Cristiano and Messi responded when confronted by the Saudi international, who has gained a reputation as a serial taunter.

Who is Ali Al Bulayhi?

While Al-Bulayhi may not boast global recognition, the four-time Saudi Pro League champion has faced off against some of football's finest.

Beginning his career at Al-Amal, the 34-year-old defender spent three years there before transitioning to Al-Nahda in 2014. Eventually, on July 23, 2015, he made his move to Al-Fateh.

His journey led him to Al-Hilal, the most decorated club in Saudi Arabia, in 2017, where he arrived on a free transfer. Since then, he has remained a reliable pillar in the team's defence.

Al Bulayhi vs Messi

Al Bulayhi first made waves on the global stage during the 2022 Qatar World Cup, notably in an encounter with Lionel Messi.

Forty minutes from time, he boldly informed Messi, "You will not win." This prediction proved prophetic as Saudi Arabia shocked the world with a 2-1 victory over eventual champions Argentina, according to GOAL.

Following Salem Al Dawsari's match-winning goal, instead of joining his teammates in celebration, Bulayhi rushed over to Messi and delivered a hearty slap on the back to capture his attention.

In a symbolic gesture of pride for his country, the bullish defender tugged at his own shirt, prompting a half-smile from Messi as he turned away.

Throughout the exchange, the Inter Miami superstar remained calm, maintaining his composure despite the Al-Hilal defender's impassioned display.

Al Bulayhi vs Ronaldo

How did Ronaldo respond to Al Bulayhi's provocations? In a league match last December, tensions escalated when Al-Bulayhi clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Video footage captured a heated confrontation between the former Manchester United star and Al-Bulayhi, with the latter exchanging words in Ronaldo's ear.

The 39-year-old, unimpressed by what he perceived as playacting from Bulayhi, feigned ignorance as his opponent continued to rage at him.

Ultimately, the Saudi defender's frustrations boiled over, leading to his expulsion from the match after receiving two yellow cards as Ronaldo won the mind battle but lost the game.

The outcome was a bitter pill to swallow for CR7 as Al-Nassr suffered a 3-0 defeat to their title rivals, Al-Hilal, where Al-Bulayhi plies his trade.

Fate brought the two players together again in the 2024 Saudi Super Cup, where Ronaldo found himself on the receiving end, seeing red for what appeared to be an elbow on Al Bulayhi.

Ronaldo almost punches referee after red card

Sports Brief also reported Cristiano Ronaldo's near 'moment of madness' after he received a red card during the Saudi Super Cup tie between Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.

Ronaldo's premature departure unfolded due to an off-the-ball confrontation with an Al-Bulayhi, resulting in the referee brandishing a red card.

In the aftermath of his ejection, the veteran forward visibly grappled with frustration, initially exhibiting hints of aggression towards the referee before ultimately reining in his emotions.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.