The Saudi Arabian soccer league made its biggest signing ever at the end of 2022.
Al Nassr took advantage of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United to land one of the sport’s biggest stars for a ridiculous amount of money.
His contract with the Saudi club included a guaranteed 90 million euro salary per year on top of more than another 100 million euros in commercial and sponsorship deals coming his way. The deal also reportedly included a 100 million euro sign-on bonus.
With the Saudi league clearly ready to spend to raise its profile in the sport, it appears they have turned their attention to another star.
According to ESPN, the Saudi league is now looking to sign Lionel Messi when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires.
ESPN Notebook: Saudi league planning for Messi to join Ronaldo if he leaves PSG / Man Utd seek record shirt deal in Davos https://t.co/fiP4TxvklJ
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) January 27, 2023
Messi’s current contract with PSG is set to expire at the end of the season and there is uncertainty over whether or not he will extend his contract with the French club.
Unfortunately for any Saudi team that may pursue Messi, his situation is very different from Ronaldo’s.
Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United at 37 years old and has clearly seen a decline in his performance. When he left Man U, he wasn’t garnering a ton of interest from the world’s top clubs.
Lionel Messi led Argentina to their third World Cup trophy and won the Golden Ball along the way.
If he does leave PSG, he will still have plenty of teams interested in his services when he hits the open market.
There were also rumors in the past about Messi coming to the United States, which could be his preferred destination if he decides to leave Europe.
It’s not entirely clear what is motivating Messi at this point in his career as he has already won every major trophy possible, but he will have plenty of options available to him at the end of this season to pursue whatever it is he wants.