Ronaldo set to face PSG, Messi in first game in Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo attends the official unveiling as a new member of Al Nassr soccer club in in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d'Ors awards for the best soccer player in the world and five Champions League titles, will play outside of Europe for the first time in his storied career. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game in Saudi Arabia is set to be against Paris Saint-Germain and a possible reunion with his career-long rival Lionel Messi.

PSG said Monday it will play a Jan. 19 friendly in Riyadh against a composite team of players from Ronaldo’s new club Al Nassr and Al Hilal, the current Asian Champions League title holder.

Ronaldo should have to wait until Jan. 22 to make his formal debut for Al-Nassr in a league game against Al Ettifaq.

World soccer rules require the 37-year-old star to finish serving a two-match suspension imposed by the English Football Association in November ahead of the World Cup. Ronaldo slapped a mobile phone out of a fan’s hand following a game against Everton last April.

Qatar-owned PSG is visiting Saudi Arabia during a two-day break in the region, including a visit to Doha for promotional work with the club’s portfolio of Qatari sponsors.

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