Inside Al-Hilal’s mega transfer plan to rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr
Al-Hilal intend to respond to Al-Nassr’s signing of Cristiano Ronaldo by making a major coup of their own, with Lionel Messi at the top of their wishlist.
Their Saudi Pro League rivals Al-Nassr made a massive statement by snapping up Ronaldo on a free transfer in December last year. They made the 38-year-old the highest-paid player in the world to lure him to Mrsool Park, reportedly handing him a £173 million-a-year deal.
The Portuguese icon’s arrival boosted Al-Nassr’s pedigree both on and off the pitch. While his signing was seen as a major coup for Saudi Arabia as a whole, it left Al-Nassr’s local rivals Al-Hilal behind.
Al-Za’eem were second in the Saudi Pro League in January but have now fallen ten points behind Rudi Garcia’s side. However, they have devised a plan to catch up with their rivals.
Reports over recent months have detailed Al-Hilal’s desire to sign Lionel Messi. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar remains atop the club’s wishlist, according to Saudi Arabian journalist Mutab Bin Abdullah.
The Blue Waves have held talks with the Argentinian icon over a deal, as per the report. With the player’s deal with PSG expiring this summer, Ramon Diaz’s side hope to snap him up on a free transfer.
Interestingly, Messi is not the only PSG superstar on Al-Hilal’s wishlist ahead of the summer. Sergio Ramos, whose deal is also nearing an end, is a target for the Saudi Arabian giants too.
Furthermore, Al-Hilal are reportedly plotting a move for Cristiano Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema. The Frenchman is also said to be wanted by Al-Shabab.
Mutab also claimed that Brazil superstar Neymar is viewed as an alternative to Messi and Benzema. Unlike the other players on the list, the 31-year-old will not be available on a free transfer.
Neymar is contracted to Les Parisiens till the end of the 2024-25 season. There have been suggestions that he wants to end his career in Paris.
Could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face off in Saudi Pro League?
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are arguably two of the best players of all time. Although they’re nearing the end of their illustrious careers, they continue to divide opinion about who’s the better between the two.
Messi and Ronaldo faced each other on several occasions during their time with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. They also came up against each other in a friendly between PSG and All-Star Riyadh XI earlier this year.
If everything goes to plan, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could lock horns in Saudi Arabia next season.
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