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Report: Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr Debut vs. Messi, PSG Draws 2M Ticket Requests

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2023

Al-Nassr's new Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo carries a ball he autographed, to give the fans, during his unveiling at the Mrsool Park Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on January 3, 2023. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
-/AFP via Getty Images

Over two million fans are hoping to see a potential matchup between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Jan. 19:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Over 2 million people requested tickets to witness Cristiano Ronaldo's first game in Saudi Arabia against PSG, sources have told ESPN 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/wLeIPoP57P">pic.twitter.com/wLeIPoP57P</a>

Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr last month after parting ways with Manchester United, but he is yet to make his debut with the team. He missed the first two matches with his new club while serving a suspension from the England's Football Association, but he could make his first appearance in a friendly next week when an All-Star team of players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal take on Paris Saint-Germain.

"It (his debut) won't be with the Al Nassr jersey. It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr," coach Rudi Garcia told L'Equipe (via Reuters).

PSG are set to fly to Doha on Jan. 17 before traveling to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the exhibition, per The Athletic. The French club has two weeks between Ligue 1 matches, providing an opportunity for the team's biggest stars to take part in the friendly.

It could set up a highly anticipated match between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, two longtime rivals considered the best of their era. They faced off head-to-head numerous times in El Classico matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona, but this would be the first matchup since 2020.