Monday, January 09, 2023

Andy Hampson, PA

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game since moving to Saudi Arabia could come against a Paris St Germain side featuring Lionel Messi later this month.

The Portugal international signed for Saudi outfit Al Nassr in December following his controversial exit from Manchester United.

He is yet to play for his new club as he must serve a two-match domestic suspension imposed by the Football Association over a disciplinary matter during his time in England.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are set to meet again in Riyadh (Martin Rickett/PA)

The 37-year-old would however be free to play for an all-star XI made up of players from Al Nassr and rival club Al Hilal in a newly-arranged friendly against Messi’s PSG in Riyadh on January 19th.

The French club confirmed the fixture on Monday as they announced a short tour to the Middle East.

PSG, who have Qatari owners, will also be visiting Doha to train, meet fans and participate in a number of commercial and public activities.

That means Messi will also be returning to the city where he won the World Cup with Argentina last month.

Messi and Ronaldo, with 12 Ballon d’Or wins between them, are widely accepted as the best players of their generation and among the greatest of all time.

A statement from PSG read: “The team will fly out on January 17th to Doha then travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to play against an all-star XI from Saudi top clubs Al Hilal and Al Nassr.

“The match will be held at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on January 19th. The team will fly back after the game to Paris.”

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