Saudi Minister Drops Hints on the Signing of Messi and Benzema

Saudi Minister Drops Hints on the Signing of Messi and Benzema

Ero Samson
June 1, 2023 at 9:49 AM
  • Saudi Arabia's Minister of Sport has offered a hint about Messi and Benzema
  • Lionel Messi’s transfer saga is gradually drawing to an end
  • Benzema also looks poised to join Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League

Lionel Messi’s transfer saga is drawing to an end, with the Barcelona legend set to shun a move back to the Camp Nou in favour of a transfer to the Saudi Pro League that will earn him the richest contract in sports history.

The deal has been virtually confirmed by Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Saudi Minister of Sport, who has hinted that Messi and Real Madrid star, Karim Benzema will be joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League this summer.

Messi, Benzema, Ronaldo
Messi and Benzema look poised to join Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League. Image: Silvestre Szpylma.
Source: Getty Images

Messi is out of contract with PSG at the end of the season and will not renew his contract with the Ligue 1 club.

Meanwhile, the sport minister is quoted by Sport as having said:

“Benzema and Messi? The clubs will officially announce this in due course.”

Although it is not known which Saudi Pro League clubs the pair will be joining, it is expected that Messi will go to Al-Hilal, and square up in direct competition against Ronaldo once more.

Messi, Benzema in Saudi?

Barcelona had been holding out hope of Messi making a dramatic return to the Camp Nou this summer, but it appears that the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules will work against them, as reported by Marca.

The club has been working on solutions, with a report that they could even team up with David Beckham’s Inter Miami to manufacture a loan deal. However, even this appears to be beyond them.

Messi does not want to wait all summer for Barcelona to find a solution, while his father, Jorge, is reportedly pushing him towards the big-money deal being offered by Saudi Arabia.

Benzema, too, is likely to move to Saudi Arabia on a free transfer, with the Real Madrid man out of contract at the end of the season.

This promises to present Los Blancos with a major headache, given Kylian Mbappe of PSG is likely to be out of their price range until he becomes a free agent next summer, while their other long-term target, Erling Haaland is untouchable at Manchester City.

Al-Faisal has hinted that both the deals for Messi and Benzema will be announced when the players finish their respective seasons in France and Spain.

Benzema seeks advice from Ronaldo

Earlier Sports Brief reported that Benzema is said to be weighing up all the options after being offered a massive €400 million deal to join Al-Ittihad this summer on a two-year deal.

The 35-year-old forward has spent 14 years at Real Madrid, but could leave the 14-time Champions League winners when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

According to reports, Benzema has now spoken to former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo before he decides whether to accept the offer from the Saudi Arabian club or not.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is an experienced sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry
WorldTransfersLionel MessiKarim BenzemaCristiano Ronaldo