Days after Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut in the Saudi Pro League for Al Nassr, a Saudi football official has now shed light on the chances of Lionel Messi playing again in the same league as the former. Ronaldo signed a lucrative deal for the Riyadh-based club and joined them earlier this month. He will reportedly earn approximately $200 million per year.
Ronaldo played his first match for the club on January 22, days after playing his first match on Saudi soil. On January 19, a Saudi-All-Star XI team locked horns against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)’s Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and others in an exhibition match at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh. Ronaldo then made his club debut against Ettifaq on Sunday, as Al Nassr claimed a 1-0 win without the 37-year-old being among the goal scorers.
Lionel Messi is yet to extend his PSG contract
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) General Secretary Ibrahim Alkassim has now revealed the possibility of Argentine football captain Lionel Messi following Ronaldo’s footsteps. Having won the 2022 FIFA World Cup for his nation last month, Messi remains to be one of the hottest properties in the transfer market. It is understood that Saudi clubs Al Ittihad and Al Hilal have already shown interest in roping in the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, as he is yet to renew his contract with PSG.
‘We would like to see Ronaldo and Messi in the same league again’
Speaking to Marca, the SAFF General Secretary said, “At the moment we do not know anything about a possible Lionel Messi arrival. Although I will not hide that, as the Saudi Federation, we would like to have him one day in the domestic league.”
“The idea of the Federation is always to improve our football, and of course we would like to see Cristiano and Messi in the same league again, but the truth is that we don’t know anything now,” Alkassim added.
It is pertinent to mention that Messi’s current contract with the reigning Ligue 1 champions runs till the end of this summer. PSG is currently eyeing to win the prestigious UEFA Champions League, having failed to do so last year after Messi joined the team. However, Messi led a young Argentine team to their first World Cup title since 1986, while the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portuguese side for knocked out in the quarter-finals.