Football legend Lionel Messi is once again at the center of attention as rumors are currently swirling about where he’ll be showcasing his talent next. The Argentinian superstar is currently on a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) but has yet to sign a new deal with the French club, and as things currently stand, he will be a free agent this summer, making fans wonder under which jersey they’ll see him in next.
One possible destination could see the six-time Ballon d’Or winner follow in the footsteps of his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo who just recently inked a mega-money deal with a Saudi Pro League side.
After a dramatic departure from FC Barcelona due to financial issues plaguing the club, Messi joined PSG in August 2021 on an unexpected two season agreement. Since then, he has formed a dynamic partnership with Brazilian icon Neymar and 2022 FIFA World Cup finalist Kylian Mbappe, however, as he has yet to officially extend his stay in the French capital, plenty of speculation about his future can be heard and read across the highest spheres of football, the news, and your local sports bar.
According to journalist Joan Fontes, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad are currently preparing a jaw-dropping offer for Messi that could see him paid an astounding $94 million per season. Fontes even claimed that representatives of the club may even have already informally approached Messi’s inner circle to probe his interest in making the switch over to Jeddah.
As the transfer market is buzzing with the latest development in the athlete’s potential future, another rumor is also suggesting that Al Hilal, another one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest football clubs, is also willing to offer Messi a record-breaking agreement to secure his services. Worth a whopping $300 million per year, if the contract ends up agreed upon by both parties, it would make Messi the highest-paid player of all time putting him above Ronaldo’s $200 million deal.
Either way, if Argentina’s iconic number 10 agrees to make the move to Saudi Arabia, their proposal could cause a significant blow to Qatar, who have invested a large amount of resources in attracting Messi to Paris and would crush the country’s ambitions of becoming a footballing powerhouse if they’re unable to attract and retain top talents, unlike their regional neighbor with whom they share geographical borders.
As Saudi Arabia is bidding to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, getting Messi on board as an ambassador would be a massive coup for the Gulf State as it would add momentum to their proposal and mark the beginning of a new era for the Saudi Pro League, which has been trying to attract top players to the league in recent years. Having two of the best players of all time, Messi and Ronaldo, playing in the same league would be a significant boost for the regional footballing scene while renewing the sport’s greatest rivalry once again in front of a new audience.
For years, Messi and Ronaldo battled it out to be crowned the best player on the planet when they played for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively. The possibility of them facing off again in a new league is exciting for football fans worldwide. While Messi’s future remains uncertain, the mere idea of seeing the two fence against each other again is enough to keep us on the edge of our seats.