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Ronaldo blushes as Messi shines

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2011 00:03 IST

Lionel Messi won his personal dual with his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo lighting up Argentina's 2-1 win over Portugal by making one goal and scoring the winner in a lively friendly international in Geneva on Wednesday.

Messi, FIFA's World Player of the Year for the last two years, and Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, were both on the scoresheet but Ronaldo, who came off after an hour, ended up on the losing side as Messi gave the South Americans a victory, scoring from the penalty spot after 89 minutes.

Coincidentally the hugely entertaining match was played in Geneva, a little over 24 hours after Europe's most powerful clubs expressed their concerns at the amount of friendlies being played every year.

The most high profile games capturing the spotlight were in Europe where international managers, in contrast to their club counterparts, were happy to use the games as preparation for next month's resumption of their Euro 2012 qualifiers.

World champions Spain swung back into action after the winter break with a 1-0 win over Colombia in Madrid thanks to a late winner from David Silva. The victory ended a poor run of form for the world champions who lost 4-1 to Argentina and suffered a 4-0 defeat to Portugal in friendlies.

French renaissance
France continued their renaissance after their disappointing World Cup last year with a 1-0 win over Brazil in Paris in a re-match of the 1998 World Cup final which was also played at the Stade de France.

Karim Benzema scored the only goal 10 minutes after the break but Brazil played out the whole of the second half with 10 men after Anderson Hernandes was sent off shortly before halftime after a wild kick high into Benzema's chest.

Germany and Italy played out a tame 1-1 draw. Miroslav Klose put Germany ahead after 16 minutes Italian substitute Giuseppe Rossi beat the offside trap nine minutes from time to equalise. England won their tie against Denmark 2-1.