Riyadh: FIFA World Cup Qatar fever is over, but the craze for football is not. And here is a good news for football fans fond of thrilling matches and clash of titans.
If reports are to be believed, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are likely come face to face in Riyadh on January 19 for a friendly match.
The match will be played between Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and a select side made up of players from Cristiano Ronaldo's new club Al Nassr and their Saudi rivals Al Hilal in Riyadh.
CR7, as Ronaldo fans would like to call him, had cracked a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr Club in December last.
He however missed the first of two domestic games for Al Nassr on Friday after being suspended by England's Football Association (FA) for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand following Manchester United's defeat at Everton in April.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will serve his suspension before making his league debut for his new Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr but he could play against Paris St Germain in a friendly this month”, news agency Reuters quoted Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia as saying.
Garcia further said the 37-year-old Portuguese footballer would also miss the league game against Al Shabab and make his debut against Ettifaq on January 22 — unless he plays against Lionel Messi's PSG in a team made up of players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal in Riyadh on Jan. 19.
"It (his debut) won't be with the Al Nassr jersey. It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr," Garcia was quoted as saying by L'Equipe.
Football clubs Al Hilal and Al Nassr are two of the most successful teams in Saudi Arabia and the induction of Ronaldo in Al Nassr is surely going to give them a boost.
Ronaldo's arrival gives the Saudi Arabian football league a huge boost in the region too as Al Nassr Football Club participates in the Asian Champions League.
“Ronaldo's arrival in Saudi Arabia was similar to Pele's move to New York Cosmos, shining the spotlight on the little-known Saudi club who have amassed more than 10 million new Instagram followers since his signing last month”, Al Nassr coach Garcia said.
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