Lionel Messi seems to have been very connected to the nation of Saudi Arabia in recent years. Despite a billion-dollar offer from Al Hilal, he rejected it to go to MLS club Inter Miami. He previously caused controversy during his final year at Paris Saint-Germain, when he was punished for missing training to go to Saudi Arabia on a tour.
Messi has joined Inter Miami training and is now leading them in their pre-season tour, where they are playing many friendlies. One such friendly will be in Saudi Arabia, where Messi will have some unfinished business with his eternal rival.
Lionel Messi shines in Saudi Arabia
Lionel Messi is now again in Saudi Arabia and is promoting their tourism industry. He is one of their global ambassadors for tourism and has recently promoted them once again on his social media platforms.
Messi posted a video reel on his Instagram where he is seen shooting the ball into walls to break them. The walls represent ‘misconception’ and he is breaking the ‘outdated stereotypes’. The video is part of the ‘Go Beyond What You Think’ campaign, aiming to encourage travel to Saudi Arabia to better know their culture.
The video showcases many tourist attractions like the Red Sea, the Diriyah E-Prix, the famous Riyadh Season, and the MDL Beast music event. The video also promotes their accepting culture and women’s advancements in the country, with Saudi Arabia’s first woman astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, shown alongside other female icons.
Messi had previously visited last year with his family as part of his annual trips as obligated in his contract. He is set to receive 25 million dollars in the 3-year deal.
Fans gear up for Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi is also set to step foot in the Gulf nation soon. He and his Inter Miami squad are set to play two friendly games in the Riyadh Season Cup. Miami will face both Al Hilal and Al Nassr, two Saudi heavyweight clubs, for the trophy.
The latter is the home of Messi’s eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, and fans have been hyped since it was announced earlier this month. It has been dubbed ‘the last dance’ as the two could face each other for the very last time in their careers. However, Ronaldo recently picked up an injury that derailed Al Nassr’s pre-season tour in China. The same could happen in the highly anticipated game against Inter Miami, which could disappoint a lot of fans.
Lionel Messi and Inter Miami will face Al Hilal in the first game tomorrow and then face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr on February 2.