Riyadh: Football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are all set to play their first match after the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Ronaldo has already joined the Saudi Arabian football club Al-Nassr FC after bidding farewell to Juventus. Now a mixed team of Al Nasr and Al Hilal (Al Hilal SFC) players will play a friendly match against Lionel Messi’s club Paris Saint-Germain FC. In this match, the two greatest players in football history, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be face to face.
Even though it is a friendly match between two football clubs, there is tremendous excitement among football fans to see Messi and Ronaldo clash. A businessman from Saudi Arabia bid $ 2.6 million (Rs 21.2 crore) for a ‘special ticket’ for this match and won. The Saudi government’s entertainment branch said on Twitter that Mushref Al-Ghamdi, general manager of real estate group AqarOne, placed the highest bid for a ‘Beyond Imagination’ ticket. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi last faced each other in a club football match in 2020, when Juventus beat Barcelona 3–0. Until Messi used to play for Barcelona.
Musharraf Al-Ghamdi, the winning bidder for the ‘Beyond Imagination’ ticket, will attend the winners’ ceremony after the match, have access to the dressing room, and meet the two players (Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi), Between whom there has been a competition for years to become the greatest footballer in the world. However, the revenue from the auction will go to charity. Apart from bringing Cristiano Ronaldo with them, Saudi Arabia has made Lionel Messi a tourism ambassador. Messi’s club Paris Saint-Germain is owned by the Qatar government, which just hosted the FIFA World Cup.
This will be the first time that Cristiano Ronaldo will play a match in Saudi Arabia after signing with Al Nasr. Ronaldo has tied up with Al Nasr till 2025. According to media reports, he will get more than 200 million Euros (17.5 billion) for this agreement. Apart from Lionel Messi, French star striker Kilian Embappé and Moroccan veteran footballer Ashraf Hakimi can also play for PSG in this friendly match against Al Nasr. Hakimi made Morocco the first Arab and African team to reach the semi-finals in the Qatar FIFA World Cup. At the same time, Al-Nasr’s team will also feature Al-Dawsari, who scored a stunning winning goal against Argentina in the World Cup group stage.