Lionel Messi defeats Cristiano Ronaldo with Saudi tourist contract before Al Nassr destroyed Inter Miami

The Argentine icon Lionel Messi has recently arrived in the Middle Eastern nation, stamping his authority in Saudi Arabia six months after he rejected the staggering offers from the Saudi Pro League clubs to join them. Nonetheless, he chose to move to the MLS to play for the American club.

Inter Miami are gearing up for the upcoming MLS season starting later this month. However, their recent pre-season campaign in the Riyadh Season Cup 2024 proved to be a challenging experience, not quite living up to expectations.

Lionel Messi serves as a Saudi tourist ambassador

Lionel Messi has a significant connection with Saudi Arabia, serving as their tourism brand ambassador even before Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival shifted the sporting landscape upon joining the Saudi Pro League in January 2023. The World Cup winner’s ties to the state highlight a unique relationship that predates Ronaldo’s high-profile move.

Lionel Messi serves as a Saudi tourist ambassador

Messi was unveiled as a brand ambassador for the Saudi Tourism Authority in 2022, aiming to boost their tourism sector through the global recognition of the Argentine. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain, Messi and his family visited the Gulf nation for family vacations a couple of times, most recently last year.

The former Barcelona star has been actively promoting Saudi Arabia on his social media handles. The 36-year-old has once again teamed up with the Saudi Tourism Authority for a global marketing campaign named ‘Go Beyond What You Know’ for the brand “Saudi Welcome to Arabia.”

In a recent promotional video clip, Lionel Messi shared on social media a special collaboration aimed at promoting the tourism destination. The campaign focuses on showcasing cultural programs and major sporting events scheduled throughout the nation, with the goal of challenging misconceptions about gender inequality and boosting tourism.

Al Nassr thrashes Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami

Inter Miami kicked off their Riyadh Season Cup campaign with a close 4-3 loss to Al-Hilal, leading up to their scheduled match against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr. Regrettably, the Portuguese icon was sidelined due to an injury, missing the eagerly awaited showdown against his counterpart, Lionel Messi.

However, the MLS side suffered a one-sided 6-0 humiliation against the dominant Al-Nassr, with Anderson Talisca netting an exhilarating hat-trick. Aymeric Laporte, the former Manchester City defender, scored a world-class goal from his own half, while Otavio and Mohamed Maran each added one to the tally.

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Via-Agencia EFE

Messi entered the game as a substitute in the 82nd minute after the Miami manager pulled him from the starting eleven due to some discomfort.

Subsequently, Inter Miami extended their winless run in the preseason, with their next stops being Hong Kong to face Hong Kong XI and Japan to continue their preparatory tour.


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