Ronaldo, Messi Rivalry Set for New Chapter in Riyadh

Ronaldo-Messi Rivalry Set for New Chapter in Riyadh (News Central TV)

When Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off in an exhibition game on Thursday, a new chapter in their storied rivalry will begin.

The Portuguese forward is preparing for his debut game in Saudi Arabia after joining Al Nassr as the match is taking place.

Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr after a successful career in Europe that saw him win two Scudettos at Juventus and four UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid.

He said that it was the “perfect time” to talk about his travels in Asia. Ronaldo’s career, which he started in 2002 with Sporting CP, has now taken him to the Saudi club.

The forward then had two stints at Manchester United, the last of which ended bitterly when he left the team after a contentious breakup with the football club.

For the better part of ten years, Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the conversation regarding the greatest player in football history.

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For the first time since Juventus defeated FC Barcelona 3-0 in December 2020, they will square off on the field on Thursday.

In the demonstration match, Ronaldo will captain Riyadh ST XI, a group of players from Al Hilal and Al Nassr, against Messi’s Paris St-Germain (PSG).

Even though there is nothing at risk, viewers are nevertheless excited to see the two celebrities compete.

Online ticket demand for the much awaited matchup, which will take place at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, reportedly exceeded two million.

In an auction that is scheduled to expire later on Tuesday, the price for a VIP “Beyond Imagination” ticket to the game has already surpassed 10 million riyals (2.66 million dollars).

The fact that Messi helped Argentina win the 2022 World Cup, the final title in his extensive trophy collection, has added to the game’s allure for spectators.

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Ronaldo also garnered attention throughout the competition by being the first player to score in five World Cups, but he was overcome with emotion after Portugal was eliminated by Morocco in the quarterfinals.

While Ronaldo’s first game in Saudi Arabia will be on Thursday, his first competitive match will be on Sunday in the Saudi Pro League when Al Nassr take on Al Ettifaq.

He agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al Nassr last month, which the media has pegged at more than 200 million euros (216.28 million dollars).

He was given a two-match suspension by England’s Football Association (FA) for knocking a fan’s phone out of his hand in April, so he has had to wait to play.

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Other important PSG players, including Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, and Neymar, will partake in the exhibition game.

Salem Al-Dawsari and Saud Abdulhamid, two internationals from Saudi Arabia, will also play. Al-Dawsari scored in Qatar’s shocking group-stage victory over Argentina.

PSG will reportedly make slightly over 10 million euros from the match, according to news reports on Monday.

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