Ronaldo's first Saudi match today: Striker to finally play after sensational Al Nassr switch

The Portuguese forward's first competitive appearance will be against Al Ettifaq on Sunday after the two-match ban

By Agencies

Published: Thu 19 Jan 2023, 12:55 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to play in Saudi Arabia for the first time since joining Al Nassr after he was named as captain of Riyadh ST XI for an exhibition match against Lionel Messi's Paris St Germain tonight.

The 37-year-old Portuguese will lead the team made up of players from Saudi sides Al Hilal and Al Nassr against Messi's PSG in what will be the latest chapter of the celebrated global soccer rivalry.

While Thursday's friendly will be Ronaldo's first in Saudi Arabia, the 37-year-old's first competitive appearance will come in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday (Jan 22) when Al Nassr host Al Ettifaq.

Ronaldo missed the first two domestic games for Al Nassr after being suspended for two matches by England's Football Association for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand in April.

The Portuguese forward arrived at the Arab team earlier this month on a deal until 2025 estimated by media to be worth more than 200 million euros ($216.34 million).

Tickets of the highly anticipated showdown are sold out, and will take place tonight at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.

The line-up also features Saudi internationals Salem Al-Dawsari, who scored in the shock group-stage win over Argentina in last year's World Cup, and Saud Abdulhamid.

The exhibition game will also feature other key PSG players such as Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos and Neymar, while Saudi internationals Salem Al-Dawsari, who scored in the shock group-stage win over Argentina, and Saud Abdulhamid will play too.


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