Saudi football chief denies rumours of Lionel Messi following Cristiano Ronaldo to SPL

Ibrahim Alkassim, the General Secretary of the Saudi Football Federation denied rumours of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi following the footsteps of eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo and joining a Saudi Premier League (SPL) club next summer, according to a Marca report as per the Daily Mail. He, however, said that he would love for the World Cup winner to play in the SPL in the near future.

“At the moment we do not know anything about a possible Lionel Messi arrival, although I do not hide that, as Saudi Federation, we would like to have him one day in the domestic league,” he told Marca.

‘The idea of the Federation is always to improve our football, and of course we would like to see Cristiano and Messi in the same league again, but the truth is that we don’t know anything now,’ he added.

A week ago, it was reported that Al-Hilal and Al Itihad are willing to pay the Argentine around 350 million euros per season and have also asked for help from the government so that they can make the offer.

On Thursday, Ronaldo and Messi transported fans back in time to the heyday of their storied rivalry, as both forwards got on the scoresheet in an exhibition match before Hugo Ekitike earned 10-man PSG a 5-4 win over the Riyadh Season Team.

While the match may not have much significance for the teams involved, soccer fans around the world got plenty of bang for their buck as a story that has dominated the sport for over a decade appeared to come to an end in a memorable goalfest.

In an action-packed first half at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, goals from Messi and Marquinhos were cancelled out by a Ronaldo brace, while PSG’s Juan Bernat was sent off for a lunging tackle on Saudi international Salem Al-Dawsari.

Both teams kept their foot on the gas in the second half, but Ekitike’s 78th-minute strike eventually made the difference on the night.

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