Lionel Messi may follow in the footsteps of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo by going to the Saudi Pro League (SPL) this summer. Ronaldo’s transfer to Al Nassr in December made headlines throughout the world, and Messi’s possible move to the SPL this summer could generate similar attention.
But while football’s two largest stars are growing Saudi Arabia’s football profile, whether consciously or not, sources told ESPN that this summer will see a change in the sort of players heading to the Middle Eastern nation. This is despite the fact that the two biggest stars in football are raising Saudi Arabia’s football profile, whether purposefully or not.
The FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time in the month of December. Saudi Arabia also plans to submit a proposal to host the FIFA World Cup in the year 2030; a combined tricontinental tournament with Egypt and Greece has been mooted. And in its domestic league,
Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr after the mutual cancellation of his contract with Manchester United helped transform the SPL from a largely unknown competition into one that struck broadcasting deals in Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland within a month of his arrival.
This happened after Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr following the mutual cancellation of his contract with Manchester United.
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The majority of the attention has been directed toward Ronaldo’s performances for Al Nassr and the possibility of Messi joining Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia’s most successful and dominant team, when his current deal with Paris Saint-Germain comes to an end at the conclusion of the current campaign.
The attention that surrounded the friendly match between Al Nassr and PSG in Riyadh on January 19 offered a taste of what it might be like if the two were reunited in the same league for the first time since 2018, when Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Juventus and Messi remained in LaLiga with Barcelona. The match was Ronaldo’s first match after moving to Saudi Arabia.
ESPN has been informed by sources in Saudi Arabia that there are plans for up to 50 players from Europe’s big five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) and Portugal’s top flight to go to the Saudi Professional League (SPL) this summer.
The Saudi Arabian ministry of sport is behind this initiative, which will see clubs in the Saudi Professional League go for free agents already playing in other leagues.
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According to rumours in the media, Lionel Messi is close to finalizing a record-breaking contract worth $299 million per year to play for Al Hilal in the professional football league in Saudi Arabia.
The reigning World Cup champion and his Paris Saint-Germain team will be traveling to Saudi Arabia the next week for a match against an All-Star XI comprised of players from the Al Nassr and Al Hilal clubs.
Lionel Messi’s deal with Paris Saint-Germain will be up this summer, thus this transfer rumor could be a forerunner to the Argentine star making a permanent move.