Cristiano Ronaldo will make his official football Saudi Arabian debut on Thursday, leading an All-Star XI comprised of Al-Nassr and Al Hilal players against the French champions Paris Saint-Germain at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.
After leaving Manchester United in November following a contentious interview with Piers Morgan, the 37-year-old Portuguese superstar joined Saudi club Al Nassr in a two and half year contract in January transfer window.
However, Ronaldo will make his Saudi Pro League debut for Al-Nassr against Ettifaq on Sunday. His friendly appearance in the game against PSG is going to be a headline-grabber as he makes his first outing in Saudi Arabia.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the football superstar, will captain the All-Star XI in their match against Paris Saint-Germain. This will pit Ronaldo against his long-time rival, Lionel Messi.
Turki Alal Shikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment, made the official announcement on Twitter, posting a video of himself handing the armband to Ronaldo. The match will be a momentous occasion in the history of Saudi football, bringing together two of the game’s greatest players of all time.
Despite joining Al-Nassr at the end of December, Ronaldo is yet to make his competitive debut for the club. This is because of the two game suspension he earned for smashing an Everton fan’s phone last April.
He gave an explosive interview with Morgan prior to the World Cup in Qatar, in which he criticised his then-manager Erik ten Hag, as well as the club’s owners and teammates, resulting in a bitter ending of his glorious career in Man United shirt.
During his two stints at Manchester United, Ronaldo amassed an impressive 145 goals and 64 assists while also winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League.