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Watch: Czech Republic fans chant ‘Messi’ in jibe at Cristiano Ronaldo

Czech Republic fans have seemingly taken note of fan behaviour in Saudi Arabia ahead of Euro 2024 as they have used a Lionel Messi chant to try and get under the skin of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Czech Republic faced Portugal in Group F earlier tonight at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig and before kick-off, videos surfaced on social media of a large group of supporters chanting ‘Messi' in unison as they made their way to the stadium.

While no chants of Messi were heard during the match itself, the Messi chants from the Czech supporters showed that Ronaldo's insecurities around is long-time arrival are widely known across Europe. He has frequently acted petulantly to unfavourable comparisons to the Argentinian and it would have been fascinating to watch had the chants become audible inside the stadium during the match.

Czech Republic fans take inspiration from Saudi Arabia

Earlier this year, Ronaldo was given a one-match ban by the Saudi Football Association for making an offensive gesture towards Al-Hazm fans after they were heard singing songs in favour of Messi. The 39-year-old thrusted his hands against his pelvis after scoring and it got him in hot water given the conservative nature of the country.

After the incident, the former Real Madrid and Man Utd man apologised for his actions but claimed that they would have been acceptable in Europe. He said:

“I will always respect the cultures of all countries, as I have respected to this day, but not always what people see is reality. As I said and I will say again, it is obvious that I will not do it again in this country, but in Europe, it is very normal.”

Czech Republic fans chant for Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo was in action for Portugal last night amid Messi chants from Czech supporters – Photo by Icon Sport

Ronaldo gets the last laugh after Czech Republic fans chant for Messi

Whether Ronaldo was aware of the chanting earlier in the day is unclear but if he did, then he will be delighted that he managed to get one over them on the pitch.

Portugal came from a goal down to beat the Czech Republic in Leipzig to leave them on three points after one match at the tournament. Ronaldo himself missed a couple of good opportunities to score himself but ended up having to settle for a quiet night.

At the age of 39, he isn't likely to start and finish every match and after blanking on Monday night, he may have to settle for a place on the bench for Portugal's next match. How he reacts to that could give us an insight into how he would have reacted had Messi chants been audible inside the Red Bull Arena.