Riyadh, Europe Brief News – Saudi Arabian football club Al Hilal are reportedly preparing a huge €220m ($240m) bid for Lionel Messi, which could see him take on generational rivals Cristiano Ronaldo.
The fact that the Argentine’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, was in the kingdom this week has caused a stir, although his meeting is said to have been for commercial reasons with son Lionel, who runs a Saudi tourism campaign.
But for a little over two months Mundo Deportivo reported that the club was preparing an offer of $350 million a year for him, MARCA says Al Hilal is ready to test Messi’s resolve with an offer that “pays him exactly the same as Cristiano Ronaldo and has managed” to convince the Portuguese to sign for rivals Al-Nassr.
This sum amounts to around 220 million euros per season and is intended to pay Ronaldo not only for his footballing expertise, but also for “making an image” of Saudi Arabia and his sporting ambitions.
Messi has already done so to some extent but having the top two footballers since the late 2000s would be a huge coup for the kingdom as they plan to bid for the right to host the 2030 World Cup.
Country politicians are said to be ready to change salary caps to make the big signing possible and have played their part in Ronaldo choosing Al-Nassr as his next target when he and Manchester United amicably agreed their deal earlier this season have resigned.