Messi to Saudi Arabia? Al Hilal to break the bank in shock transfer: Report | Football News - Hindustan Times

Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia in sensational transfer? Al Hilal to break the bank for PSG, Argentina superstar: Report

Jan 12, 2023 05:28 PM IST

It is reported that Al Nassr's rival Al Hilal could make a sensational move for Lionel Messi, and offer him a higher salary than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo stunned football fans around the world with a sensational move to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a 2-1/2 year contract recently, estimated to be worth more than 200 million euros. The 37-year-old saw his contract get terminated by Manchester United after a controversial interview with broadcaster Piers Morgan, where he criticised the club's hierarchy and manager Erik ten Hag.

Lionel Messi in action for PSG.(AP)
Lionel Messi in action for PSG.(AP)

This draw drew the curtains on any further Champions League encounters between Ronaldo and his arch-rival Lionel Messi, who is currently with PSG. Although the pair will face each other in a friendly as part of PSG's mid-season tour, where they will be facing Saudi all-star XI consisting of players from Al-Hilal and Al Nassr on January 19.

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Also Read | Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi date set as PSG to play friendly in Saudi Arabia

Now it looks the 35-year-old could join Al Nassr's main rival Al Hilal, who are reportedly prepared to offer him a huge salary, of no less than 279 million euros per year. Also, Messi's position as Saudi tourism ambassador could further help Al Hilal in their negotiations for the Argentina captain. Also, his contact with PSG is set to expire in the summer.

The former Barcelona captain led to 2022 FIFA World Cup glory in Qatar last year, defeating France in penalties to clinch the trophy. For his performances in Qatar, he also received the Golden Ball award, a stark contrast to Ronaldo, who was benched in his side’s Round of 16 and Quarter-Final fixtures.

On his return to PSG, Messi scored in his first match vs Angers, capping off a team move in a 2-0 win. Other than Messi's 72nd-minute goal, Hugo Ekitike opened the scoring in the 5th-minute in Paris. If Al Hilal manage to get Messi to sign for them, it could be a huge commercial boost for the club and Saudi football in general. Also, Al Hilal's fixture vs Al Nassr could see record audiences due to a potential Messi vs Ronaldo clash.

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