A new chapter in the epic rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will unfurl on Thursday when they meet in an exhibition match, with the Portugal superstar set to play his first game in Saudi Arabia since joining Al Nassr.
Ronaldo and Messi, who have dominated football’s debate about the greatest of all time (GOAT) for the better part of a decade, will face off on the pitch for the first time since December 2020 when Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0.
Here is all you need to know about the game.
The highly anticipated showdown will take place in Riyadh.
* Date: Thursday, November 19
* Time: 8pm (17:00 GMT, 12:00 ET)
* Stadium: King Fahd Stadium
Ronaldo will lead Riyadh ST XI, a team made up of players from Al Nassr and their Riyadh rivals Al Hilal.
The Saudi select team includes Salem al-Dawsari, who scored the winning goal in the Green Falcons’ shock defeat of Argentina in the World Cup’s group stage.
While Thursday’s friendly will be Ronaldo’s first in Saudi Arabia, the 37-year-old’s first competitive appearance will come in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday when Al Nassr host Ettifaq.
From PSG, besides Messi, other stars expected to play include France striker Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi, who last year in Qatar helped make Morocco the first Arab and African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals. Neymar is also expected to play on Thursday.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Monday that PSG will earn just over 10 million euros ($10m) for the game.
The match reportedly had more than two million online ticket requests.
The game will be livestreamed on Paris Saint-Germain’s official platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and PSG TV.
BeIN sports also said it would broadcast the game on its network of channels across the world.