Cristiano Ronaldo may have the opportunity of playing against his greatest football rival, Lionel Messi, on January 19 when a selected team comprising of Al Nassr and Al Hilal face European giants, Paris Saint Germain in a friendly match in Riyadh.
Messi is eight-time winner of the Ballon D’Or trophy while Ronaldo has scooped the prize on five occasions.
Both players are regarded as the greatest of this era, but Messi is widely considered as a bigger player after helping his country, Argentina to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Messi has also been ranked as the ‘Greatest of all times’ by his supporters, an assertion that is opposed by those who saw the late Edson Arantes dos Nascimento (Pele) and Diego Armando Maradona play.
Ronaldo was unveiled by the Saudi club last week but is currently on two-game suspension after kicking a fan’s phone during the Manchester United Premier League game against Everton in April 2022.
The 37-year-old Portuguese football icon missed Al Nassr’s game on Friday due to his two-game suspension.
Al Nassr’s coach, Luis Garcia has confirmed that Ronaldo is likely to play.
“It [Ronaldo’s debut] won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey. It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr,” Garcia said according to L’Equipe.
The Al Nassr coach added that the following week, January 22, against Ettifaq, Ronaldo will play for Al Nassr for the first time in the Saudi Pro League.
Ronaldo who agreed to a rich contract with the Saudi club that runs through 2025 is reportedly paid more than £177 million per year and is the world’s highest paid footballer.
Al Nassr’s next league match is against Al Shabab on Saturday,, January 14.
In light of Ronaldo’s terrible two-month period, which included the termination of his United contract and Portugal’s elimination from the World Cup quarterfinals, Garcia expressed his optimism that Ronaldo may regain his love of the game.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus forward quit Manchester United after a contentious interview with British journalist, Piers Morgan, in which he berated his former coach, Erik ten Hag, and the club, Manchester United.
Support Investigative Journalism and Mentorship
Courageous Journalism of Truth,Transparency and Development is in the DNA of Prime Business Africa; By donating as little as N1000 or $1 today, you are helping to keep credible journalism and life-changing information free for all.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.