Cristiano Ronaldo could face Lionel Messi in his first game in Saudi Arabia
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game in Saudi Arabia might be against Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game since his move to Saudi Arabia could see him face his nemesis, Lionel Messi.
Following his contentious split from Manchester United at the beginning of January, Ronaldo officially joined Al-Nassr, but he has not yet played a game for his new team.
According to The Guardian, Portugal’s star Ronaldo may play for a team made up of a mix of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal players when they take on PSG in a friendly on January 19 in Riyadh.
The 37-year-old received a two-game FA suspension after smashing an Everton fan’s phone last year.
As a consequence, Ronaldo missed Al-Nassr’s 2-0 win against Al Tai and also won’t be able to feature against Al-Shabab.
It is anticipated that Ronaldo’s first competitive appearance for Al-Nassr will come against Ettifaq on January 22.
That could potentially see Ronaldo face Messi, although it remains to be seen whether the latter will be involved in the fixture.
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Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia expressed his disappointment with the scheduling of the friendly against PSG.
As reported by L’Equipe, Garcia said: ‘It [Ronaldo’s debut] won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey. As the coach of Al-Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing. But we have a championship game three days later.
‘In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it’s not a big deal… We are in the lead, we are happy. It is a difficult championship to win, but we intend to do it.’
As a result of Vincent Aboubakar’s contract being terminated, Al-Nassr may now officially register Ronaldo.
Clubs are only permitted to sign up a maximum of eight foreign players per squad, according to Saudi league regulations.
As he waits to make his debut for Al-Nassr, Ronaldo, who will make £175 million annually, has been training hard in the gym.
Ronaldo has been regularly compared to Messi throughout his career, particularly while they were teammates at Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.