Cristiano Ronaldo could be set to make his debut in Saudi Arabia against none other than Lionel Messi. It comes after PSG confirmed that they will be facing an Al Nassr and Al Hilal mixed team in a friendly on January 19, of which the Portuguese striker will be eligible to play.
It won’t, however, be his debut in Al Nassr’s yellow and blue kit, with the combined side wearing a different shirt for the clash. That will have to wait for a few more weeks as Ronaldo serves a suspension from the English FA for seemingly knocking a phone out of an Everton fan’s hands last season.
Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia explained how Ronaldo’s debut in the country will work as quoted by L’Equipe: “It [his debut] won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey, it will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr. As the coach of Al Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing. But we have a championship game three days later.
“In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it’s not a big deal … We are in the lead, we are happy. It is a difficult championship to win, but we intend to do it.”
The clash, while still a friendly, will surely add more fuel to the fire surrounding the Great Of All Time debate surrounding both Messi and Ronaldo. While it has been a discussion that has been around for years now, the summer saw yet another twist in the discussion for both sides.
That was when Argentina lifted the World Cup as Messi’s double and Kylian Mbappe’s hattrick saw the game taken to penalties, where the South American side ended up victorious. With Ronaldo unlikely to feature at another World Cup to add it to his collection, given that he will be in his 40s, some believe that the GOAT debate is over.
It remains to be seen whether the clash will spark some of that discussion once again as they meet head-to-head once more.