Lionel Messi agrees to relocate to Saudi Arabia club

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Lionel Messi, the Argentine superstar, will play in Saudi Arabia next season under a “huge” contract, a source close to the negotiations told AFP on Tuesday.

“The contract is outstanding. It’s enormous. “We’re just finalizing a few minor details,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media.

When asked about the remarks, Messi’s current club, Paris Saint-Germain, simply stated that he is still under contract until June 30.

According to a separate PSG source, “If the club had wanted to renew his contract, it would have been done earlier.”

Last week, Qatari-owned PSG suspended the 35-year-old World Cup winner for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, where he is a tourism ambassador.

Messi’s expected arrival in the oil-rich kingdom follows in the footsteps of his archrival Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed a massive deal with Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr in January.

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According to Forbes, Ronaldo’s contract until June 2025 is worth more than 400 million euros ($439 million), making him the world’s highest paid athlete.

According to the source, both transactions are being funded by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with more than $620 billion in assets.

“The negotiations did not take as long as those with Ronaldo.” “We now know how to recruit world-class players,” said the source.

“It was Saudi Arabia, not a specific club, that brought him.” PIF is where the money comes from.”

Ronaldo’s arrival has not had the desired effect on the field, according to Al Nassr.

They have dropped to second place in the Saudi Pro League table and are out of contention for the King’s Cup and Super Cup.

Rudi Garcia, the French coach, left in April.
– Protesters from PSG –
Messi, who turns 36 in June, has had two underwhelming seasons in Paris following a glorious era at Barcelona, where he won four Champions League and ten La Liga titles and is still revered by the fans.

The seven-time world player of the Year, who joined a mouth-watering attack that included Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, scored just 11 goals in his first season, helping PSG to a comfortable Ligue 1 title.

However, even with the illustrious Argentine in the lineup, PSG has yet to win the coveted Champions League for the first time.

Last week, black-clad PSG protesters let off flares and sang hostile chants directed at underperforming Messi, Neymar, and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti.

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The enraged scenes were in stark contrast to Messi’s career-defining moment in December, when he led Argentina to a breathless World Cup final victory over Mbappe and France in Doha, filling the biggest gap in his resume.

At the trophy ceremony, Qatar’s emir draped him in a traditional bisht robe, a reminder of the fossil-fuel riches pouring into football and Messi’s bank account via PSG.

Messi, on the other hand, is a highly compensated tourism ambassador for Qatar’s neighbors and sometimes rivals Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter that is attempting to diversify its largely single-stream economy.

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