Lionel Messi is set to sign a mega deal worth over half a BILLION at Saudi side Al-Hilal, with the forward in line to face rival Cristiano Ronaldo yet again… but how much will the Argentine earn compared to the Portuguese star?
- Lionel Messi is set to sign a deal worth £522million with Saudi side Al-Hilal
- The Argentina forward is now in line to come up against rival Cristiano Ronaldo
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Lionel Messi is set to agree a sensational move to Saudi side Al-Hilal, with the move a ‘done deal’.
French outlet L’Equipe claim the offer on the table for Messi is a two-year deal with the option of a third.
The forward has endured a tough season for Paris-Saint Germain so far and has only scored 20 goals for the French side in all competitions this campaign. The move will see him reignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Al-Nassr.
Ronaldo put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with Al-Nassr back in December and has scored 12 goals in 13 league games since the move.
But how much will Messi earn compared to Cristiano Ronaldo? Mail Sport provides the answers below.
Lionel Messi looks set to leave PSG and sign a two-year deal with Saudi side Al-Hilal
The move will see the forward face rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Hilal’s rivals, Al-Nassr
How much will Lionel Messi earn at Al-Hilal?
The World Cup winner is said to have signed a massive £522million contract with the Saudi side, which is a lot more than his current deal. Messi currently earns £103.4m per season with PSG.
L’Equipe report that the deal for Messi is a two-year deal, with an option of a further year.
Mail Sport reported earlier on Tuesday that his wife Antonela ‘could not imagine’ moving their family, including their young children, to Saudi Arabia in a potential stumbling block to the move.
Antonela is reportedly reluctant to relocate to the Middle East with their three sons and would prefer to stay in Europe.
Messi has reportedly been prepared to wait until the end of the season to make his decision. However, the forward now looks set to make the switch.
Recently, PSG ordered extra security to protect their players, including Messi, according to reports. Messi was believed to be the target of frustration, with supporters also demanding the World Cup winner moves on, having recently jeered the Argentine in home matches.
The 35-year-old has been suspended by the reigning French champions for two weeks, following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia. Messi made the trip in the aftermath of PSG’s 3-1 defeat against Lorient.
Messi and his wife recently made a visit to Saudi Arabia with their sons Ciro and Mateo as part of his duties as a tourism ambassador in the country
PSG supporters were reportedly heard demanding that Lionel Messi leaves the club recently
How much does Cristiano Ronaldo earn with Al-Nassr?
Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Al-Nassr on a £175million-a-year deal following his exit from Manchester United in November.
The forward signed a two-year deal following his exit from Manchester United.
The record-breaking deal saw the forward leapfrog Messi, Lebron James and Steph Curry to become the highest-paid athlete in the world.
According to the official ‘Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 List’, Messi had been the top earner of the year prior to Ronaldo’s Saudi switch.
However, with Messi looking likely to join Al-Hilal, the forward is set to return to the top of the list. With Messi’s contract worth £522m a season, the forward will earn £261m each year, £86m more than the Portuguese forward.
Since the move, the Portuguese forward has scored 12 goals in 13 league games so far.
Ronaldo has scored 12 goals in 13 league games since signing for Al-Nassr back in December
Cristiano Ronaldo already wants to leave Al-Nassr only months after joining the Saudi Arabian club
With that being said, Ronaldo already wants to leave Al-Nassr according to reports, just months after joining the Saudi side.
According to El Nacional, Real Madrid are willing to offer the forward a non-playing role as an ambassador.
The Spanish outlet said: ‘Florentino Perez has guaranteed that [Ronaldo] will not lack work at the Santiago Bernabeu.
‘But, obviously, he wouldn’t do it to be a player, because he considers that it is a cycle that should be considered closed.’
What will Lionel Messi’s lifestyle in Saudi Arabia look like as he ‘closes in on £552MILLION deal’?
Lionel Messi is bound for Saudi Arabia then.
After months of speculation over whether or not he would join nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East, reports in France revealed on Tuesday morning that a deal is complete.
The Argentine World Cup winner, 35, will sign a massive contract worth £522million at Saudi side Al-Hilal.
It will also see him reignite his long-standing rivalry with Ronaldo, who plays for Al-Hilal’s rivals Al-Nassr in the Gulf state.
As Saudi Arabia continues to make power plays to establish itself as a global sports hub, the prospect of the two greatest players of their, or any, generation going head-to-head in their league is a mouth-watering one.
Lionel Messi, wife Antonela Roccuzzo and sons Mateo and Ciro pose with horses during their recent visit to Saudi Arabia which led to the Argentine player being suspended by PSG
Messi poses with a falcon during his Saudi visit amid rumours he could play football there
Cristiano Ronaldo with his family in Saudi Arabia after he signed for Al-Nassr back in January
Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez enjoy the sunshine in the Saudi capital
The Portuguese star, 38, is attempting to lead Al-Nassr to the Saudi Pro League title having signed for the club after his acrimonious departure from Manchester United
At 35, Messi is moving from the autumn to the winter of his astonishing career.
While Messi – and his family – may have preferred a move back to Barcelona, where he emerged from the academy ranks to become their greatest player, the Spanish club’s well-documented financial issues have proven to be an unbeatable hurdle.
In order to register Messi’s contract with LaLiga, who run Spain’s top division, Barcelona needed to lose around €200m [£175m] from their existing wage bill.
If they re-signed Messi, who currently commands wages approaching £1m-a-week, they would have had to sell several existing big earners to stay within the league limits.
So while Barcelona fans were beginning to get excited that Messi’s two-week PSG suspension after an unsanctioned ambassadorial trip to Saudi could have led him back to the Nou Camp, it was never likely to become reality.
There was also interest from Inter Miami in the United States but in terms of pure financial incentive, the Saudi offer blows everyone else out the water.
Messi has become disillusioned with Paris Saint-Germain and will leave the club this summer
The fallout marks the end of a lukewarm love affair between Messi and the Parisian club
Messi already has ties to the country. Last year, he agreed to a £25m-a-year deal to work as a tourism ambassador for the Saudis.
His visit with wife Antonella and their children Mateo, seven, and Ciro, five, last week saw them pose for a set of nice promotional pictures which the Saudis no doubt plan to use in their holiday brochures.
There were snaps of Messi with a falcon perched on his arm, playing board game Carrom, of the family learning the local craft of palm-weaving and everyone playing arcade games at a Riyadh amusement park.
The Saudi minister of tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb tweeted: ‘I am happy to welcome Messi and his family to Saudi to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences.
‘We welcome visitors from all around the world to experience a unique trip to Saudi Arabia and its hospitality.’
Messi and his son try out the board game Carrom during the promotional trip to Riyadh
The Messi family learned the art of palm-weaving during their Middle East trip this week
The family visited an amusement park in Riyadh as part of Messi’s ambassadorial role
The Saudis are keen to make use of Messi’s global profile to promote tourism to the country
Messi and his wife pose for pictures during their visit to Diriyah earlier this week
Trips to the petting zoo or excursions to Diriyah could become regular occurrences when they live in the kingdom and for an idea of the lifestyle, he only has to look at Ronaldo.
The 38-year-old Portuguese star signed for Al-Nassr at the beginning of the year having left Manchester United by mutual consent following his criticism of the club in an interview with Piers Morgan.
Initially, Ronaldo and his family were staying in the luxury Kingdom Suite at the Four Seasons hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The 3,000ft suite, spread over two floors, offers sweeping views over the city and is so expensive there isn’t even a cost listed on the hotel’s website. Estimates put the cost of the bill for Ronaldo and his entourage at over £250,000.
The five-star hotel’s website boasts: ‘Entertain guests with unparalleled views of Riyadh. Our newest two-storey suite spans the 48th and 50th floors of the hotel, with a soaring living room, a private office, a dining room and a media room.’
Ronaldo and his family could enjoy ‘the best of dishes from China, Japan, India and the Middle East, with the freshest ingredients to order’ delivered directly to their room.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his family stayed at the Four Seasons hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ronaldo is on a £175million-a-year deal at Al Nassr but Messi’s contract could be higher
Messi and his family could certainly stay here until they find more permanent accommodation should they arrive over the summer.
Ronaldo, partner Georgina Rodriguez and their five children moved out of the hotel and into a new home in February, just in time for a visit from his mother Dolores Aveiro.
The new home is said to be in an exclusive compound with state-of-the-art security and all amenities such as gyms, shops and restaurants nearby. It is understood the family are renting the mansion.
Ronaldo and his family have also sampled some of the exclusive restaurants on offer in Riyadh, including Miyazo, which offers ‘contemporary Japanese cuisine driven by passion.’
He also shared a dinner of Lebanese food with Saudi minister of sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal in Diriyah.
We’ve also seen Ronaldo attend various events related to his newly-adopted country. He donned traditional dress and posed with a sword to mark the anniversary of the country’s foundation back in February.
Pictures from inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, where Ronaldo and his family stayed
The 38-year-old star stayed in the hotel’s lavish ‘Kingdom Suite’ – which covers two floors
Messi, of course, would be even better placed to fulfil his ambassadorial role if he moved to Saudi itself but given Ronaldo has 579 million Instagram followers and Georgina 50m, simply posting any kind of picture in the country is priceless advertising.
On the pitch, Ronaldo has scored 12 goals in 16 matches so far for Al-Nassr, who are currently second in the Pro League standings, five points behind leaders Al-Ittihad.
With four matches remaining, Ronaldo still has the chance to lead his team to title glory, though it hasn’t been entirely smooth.
When Al-Nassr lost 2-0 to Al-Hilal last month, rival fans chanted ‘Messi, Messi’ at Ronaldo, who appeared to grab his crotch as he walked off the pitch. It does at least prove Messi will be a hugely popular addition to the league.
The act was heavily criticised in some quarters, with lawyer Nouf bin Ahmed saying it was ‘a crime of public dishonour’ before calling for Ronaldo to be ‘arrested and deported.’
Ronaldo gives the thumbs up as he attended Saudi founding anniversary events in February
The Al Nassr player posed with a sword and in traditional dress amid Founding Day events
The star attended the boxing match between Tommy Fury and Jake Paul back in February
Ronaldo and his partner Georgina pose for a nice Instagram picture
When coach Rudi Garcia left the club by mutual consent, it was reported the reason was that Ronaldo ‘wasn’t satisfied’ with his tactics. It was also speculated Garcia had a ‘blazing dressing room row’ with the team.
But everything Ronaldo has ever done is under the microscope and an insight by Piers Morgan to Tatler magazine earlier this year said the footballer and his family were ‘absolutely loving it’ in Saudi.
When Rodriguez made her social debut at the Joy Awards, she was ‘the talk of the city.’
Throughout their spectacular careers Messi and Ronaldo have always competed goal-for-goal and trophy-for-trophy. They have always been rivals, though the frostiness has thawed with passing age.
We will soon find out if Riyadh is big enough for the both of them.
Ronaldo courted controversy when he appeared to grab his crotch in response to opposition fans shouting ‘Messi, Messi’ in his direction
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