‘Ronaldo and Messi in the same league again’: Saudi football official | Football News - Hindustan Times

‘Ronaldo and Messi in the same league again’: Saudi football official gives massive transfer update on PSG star

Jan 23, 2023 07:24 PM IST

Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) General Secretary Ibrahim Alkassim gave a massive transfer update on Lionel Messi joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.

With Cristiano Ronaldo making his debut for Al Nassr, fans were sent into a state of frenzy as the former Manchester United forward was in vintage form at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh. The Portugal captain failed to score a goal but definitely made a mark in his debut, which saw Talisca score a first-half goal as Al Nassr sealed a 1-0 win against Ettifaq. The midfielder headed the winner in the 31st-minute after Abdulmajeed Al-Sulaiheem’s cross was too high for Ronaldo. The result helped Al Nassr climb to the top of the table, a point ahead of second-placed Al Hilal.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during an exhibition match.(AP)
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during an exhibition match.(AP)

Ronaldo had initially made his debut in Saudi Arabia on Thursday last week, when PSG faced a Saudi All-Star XI side consisting of players from Al Hilal and Al Nassr. PSG won the match with a 5-4 scoreline, but Ronaldo grabbed a first-half brace for his side. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi also scored an early goal for his side. The duo exchanged hugs and smiles in what could probably be their last game against each other.

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But now it looks like Messi could follow in Ronaldo's footsteps with Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) General Secretary Ibrahim Alkassim expecting a possible transfer for the Argentine captain. The attacker is also yet to sign a contract extension with PSG. Reportedly, Al Ittihad and Al Hilal are also interested in his signature.

Speaking to Marca, Alkassim 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", he further added.

Messi's contract is set to expire in the summer and if he does leave, he will be aiming to win the UEFA Champions League with the Ligue 1 side. He also led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last year, something which Ronaldo couldn't. Portugal crashed out of the quarter-finals with Ronaldo coming off the bench in the last two games.

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