Special admission ticket KRW 32.78 billion for Messi-Ronaldo friendly match
A ticket to a friendly match between the Saudi All-Star team and France’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on the 19th (local time) was sold for 10 million Saudi Riyal (3.287.2 billion won) at a charity auction on the 17th, AFP reported on the 18th.
The Saudi real estate tycoon named Mushrev Al-Gamdi won the ticket for the friendly match between Messi and Ronaldo for such a large sum of money. In return for such expensive tickets, he will be given the privilege of taking pictures with star players from PSG, including Ronaldo and Messi, France’s Kylian Mbappe, Brazil’s Neymar, and Morocco’s Acraf Hakimi, and entering the locker rooms of the players. Hakimi was the first African player to lead Morocco to the semifinals.
The charity auction of the special ticket was organized by Thurki al-Sheikh, an adviser to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia and head of Saudi Entertainment, to promote the friendly match, and was auctioned at 11:30 p.m. on the 17th.
The Saudi All-Star team, which plays in friendly matches with PSG, consists of players from Saudi Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal, who Ronaldo transferred for a salary of 200 million euros, including Salem al-Dawasari, who scored a come-from-behind goal when Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in the last Qatar World Cup group stage.
Messi and Ronaldo are the world’s best soccer stars who won the Ballon d’Or seven times and five times, respectively. There were many rumors that Ronaldo’s age could not be helped as he was sluggish at the last Qatar World Cup, but the showdown between the two, which had been known as rivals since the Spanish Primera Liga, is still a big match that global soccer fans want to see.
Ronaldo, who made headlines by moving to Saudi Al Nasr after the last Qatar World Cup, has yet to play in Saudi Arabia in an Al Nasr uniform. The friendly match against PSG on the 19th is Ronaldo’s first match in Saudi Arabia, and his first match for Al Nasr will be held on the 22nd.
Meanwhile, all proceeds from the auction will be used for Saudi charity campaigns.
Saudi Arabia often holds large sports events based on abundant oil funds to improve Saudi Arabia’s external image, but it is also criticized as “sports washing” to quell criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights situation.