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Cristiano Ronaldo

Businessman splashes $2.6m on Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi ticket ahead of PSG friendly against Saudi All-Stars

6:00 PM GMT+4 18/01/2023
Ronaldo Messi 2022-23
A Saudi real estate mogul splashed out $2.6m on a ticket during an auction to watch Cristiano Ronaldo face Lionel Messi in a charity friendly.
  • Ronaldo and Messi set to reignite rivalry
  • Saudi All-Star XI will take on PSG
  • Fan buys ticket for $2.6m

WHAT HAPPENED? Excitement is building ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's friendly in Riyadhon Thursday against a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Saudi All-Star XI. The game will also mark the Portuguese talisman's debut on Saudi soil since joining Al-Nassr on an astronomical pay package. To promote the friendly, Turki al-Sheikh, an adviser at the Royal Court and head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, set up a special ticket for auction that would include perks like photo opportunities with players and access to the locker rooms. At the end of the bidding, Al-Sheikh announced on Twitter that Mushref al-Ghamdi has put in the winning bid of 10 million riyals ($2.6m).

WHAT THEY SAID: “Congratulations, you deserve it, and may God reward you with good,” Sheikh said.

The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the national charity campaign known as Ehsan.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Paris Saint-Germain will earn 10m from the friendly which received over 2 million online ticket requests, according to L'Equipe. This is undoubtedly a special occasion as Ronaldo will face Messi for the first time since December 2020, when the 37-year-old was on the winning side as Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? The friendly is set to kick off at 5pm GMT/12pm ET on Thursday at the King Fahd International Stadium.