Saudi Arabia has invested hundreds of millions of euros in recent years in the development of soccer, part of which goes towards popularizing the sport in the country. This is done very simply: the best clubs come to an Asian country for a lot of money, they get a solid increase in the budget, and in the end they all stay in the black. Even PSG couldn’t resist the offer, which, according to various sources, will bring them about 10 million euros, and will also receive an additional bonus in the form of media development in the Arab world.
On January 19 there will be a match between the all-star team of the Saudi Arabian championship against PSG. What is special about this match and what do you need to know about it?
Which will take place?
More than two million people want to see this match live, as many requests to buy tickets were received, but only a small part of them will be able to do so. The meeting will take place at the country’s flagship stadium, at the King Fahd Stadium, with a capacity for 70,000 spectators. During the last week it has hosted the Spanish Super Cup and the Italian Super Cup.
One of the tickets for the match cost the buyer 10 million Saudi riyals, which is equivalent to $2.6 million. A local businessman participated in the auction, which started with just 1 million riyals, but the winner was forced to pay 10 times as much. Thanks to this, he will not only get the best seat in the arena, but he will also have the opportunity to visit the locker rooms of both teams. All money received from this gentleman will go to charity.
Which are the ingredients?
Both teams are in the middle of the season, but if the Saudi Arabian league team is sure to give all its strength to achieve victory, then the same cannot be said of PSG. The French giants have lost 2 of their last 3 games in Ligue 1, so head coach Christophe Galtier can save top stars like Neymar, Killian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and others. They will most likely play, but definitely not the entire match. Although it is possible that when this match was agreed, the organizers indicated the minimum playing time for some PSG players.
As for the home team, there is not much interesting here. Of the obvious stars, only Taliska (former Benfica player), Odion Ighalo (former Manchester United player, Watford) and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo can be distinguished.
Rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi
This match is touted as the last meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, because it is unlikely that they will meet again on the pitch. On paper it is, but in fact we will see a regular friendly match, which Messi probably won’t care about, especially in the context of the recent 2022 World Cup victory. Unless Ronaldo can slam the door loudly and put Liquid end to the legendary duel with the Argentine, but even if he scores and his team wins, it will only be important for him.
For sure, a fun match awaits us, where the main objective of the players will be to pamper the home crowd, so we have the right to expect a large number of goals. And despite the different tasks of Ronaldo and Messi in this meeting, I still want to enjoy their presence by my side for the last time, because their joint history has come to an end.