Argentina fans celebrate Lionel Messi goal in World Cup final
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Lionel Messi will reportedly be offered £306million per season to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad. The 35-year-old, who is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, appears to be in demand in the Middle East, with Al-Hilal already said to be attempting to get their hands on him in exchange for £245m per year. And if he accepts either of those stunning contract offers, his salary would put Cristiano Ronaldo to shame.
Messi is one of the greatest players to ever walk the earth and won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and three Club World Cups during his time with Barcelona. The veteran won the Copa America with Argentina in the summer of 2021 and lifted the Ligue 1 title during his maiden campaign at PSG. And he finally got his hands on the biggest trophy of all in December as he led Argentina to the World Cup title.
Messi’s performances over the years have seen him win the Ballon d’Or on seven occasions. But his time in European football could come to an end in the summer if he decides to take up an offer in Saudi Arabia.
According to Marca, Al-Ittihad have expressed an interest in signing Messi. But Al-Hilal aren’t willing to be blown out of the water when it comes to the player’s wages and are set to increase their financial package to match the £306m on offer from Al-Ittihad.
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Both Saudi clubs are currently sanctioned by FIFA due to ‘irregularities’ and would not be allowed to sign Messi until the summer. But the clubs could both end up missing out on the blockbuster star as he is believed to have already told PSG that he will extend his deal in France.
If Messi did move to Saudi Arabia, his salary would dwarf Ronaldo’s. The ex-Manchester United forward signed for Al-Nassr in December after leaving the Red Devils and is now earning a mouth-watering £175m per season. And the Portugal international is unlikely to be happy at being shown up by Messi once again.
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Messi and Ronaldo have enjoyed a fierce rivalry at the top of the game over the last two decades and are set to go head-to-head on Thursday when PSG travel to Saudi Arabia to take on an Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal XI in the Riyadh Season Cup.
Ronaldo, who has been unable to play for Al-Nassr since signing for the club after being handed a two-game suspension by the FA following an incident with an Everton fan last season, will then make his debut for his new club in a Saudi Pro League match against Ettifaq next Sunday.
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