Ronaldo To Captain Saudi All-Star XI In Friendly Against Messi’s PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo will captain a Saudi All-Star XI team against PSG in their friendly match on Thursday.

It will be Ronaldo’s first game since joining Al-Nassr last month in a deal that will see him earn £175m-a-year, and Ronaldo has already been handed the responsibility of leading out his side, which will contain players from Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.

Ronaldo has been presented with the captain’s armband, and is now just days away from making his debut in Saudi Arabia.

His first match will see him go up against long-term rival Lionel Messi, with PSG currently on a tour of the Middle East.

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This could be the final time that the pair, who have won the Ballon d’Or 12 times between them, face each other on the pitch.

Ronaldo and Messi shared a great rivalry during their time in Spain together, playing starring roles in numerous El Clasicos for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

Ronaldo left Spain to join Juventus in 2018, and he has not come up against Messi since December 2020 when the Italian giants travelled to the Nou Camp.

However, if Messi opt to extend his current PSG deal beyond this season, it is likely that he will not face Ronaldo again.

However, Messi reportedly has a lucrative offer on the table from Al-Hilal, with the Saudi side eager to sign him this summer in a move that could re-ignite his rivalry with Ronaldo. Fellow Saudi side Al-Ittihad are also reportedly keen to tempt Messi to the Middle East.

Since he was officially announced as an Al-Nassr player at the end of December, Ronaldo has had to wait to make his debut for his new club.

He was filmed watching their recent 2-0 win against Al-Ta’ee on an exercise bike as he was unable to play due to serving a two-match ban for smashing a fan’s phone after Manchester United’s defeat against Everton last April.

He is able to feature in this friendly fixture, though, and has been getting himself into prime shape ahead of his maiden appearance in Riyadh.