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Saudi Arabia put Messi dream on hold: Qatar and PSG have him for now

Saudi Arabia is becoming ever more important in the football world. The country will host a Spanish Super Cup Clasico final this Sunday, while the national team beat Argentina at the World Cup at the end of 2022 and Cristiano Ronaldo just joined Saudi club Al Nassr.

Those in charge of the Saudi Arabian league were hoping that they could unite Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in their league, with Al Hilal hoping to bring in the Argentine forward.

Ronaldo and Messi could line up against each other in exhibition matchLAPRESSE

However, this has proved a little too ambitious for the moment, as Messi is set to sign a new contract with PSG.

That will see him stay beyond his current deal's expiry date of summer 2023, so any chance of him joining Al Hilal will have to be further into the future.

PSG are happy with the Messi vs Ronaldo friendly

Messi is expected to face off against Ronaldo in a friendly on January 19, as PSG will take part in a friendly against an all-star side made up of Al Nassr and Al Hilal players.

Tickets were sold out in minutes and this should be an important match, as Qatar and Saudi Arabia look to improve their relations.

PSG and the club's Qatari owners are calm about bringing Messi to Saudi Arabia, because they're confident that they'll keep him for the foreseeable future.

PSG's problems with the Parc des Princes

Even if Messi does stay with PSG, it's not entirely clear which stadium he'll play in, given that the Ligue 1 champions are currently in negotiations with the Parisian city council over the future of the Parc des Princes.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has stated her firm position that the stadium is not for sale, but she is willing to work with the club to renovate the ground and increase the capacity.

Sources close to PSG expressed disappointment as they responded to the mayor's statements.

"It is surprising and disappointing to hear that the mayor of Paris is taking a position that will, in effect, force PSG, our fans and supporters to leave the Parc des Princes, while also - quite remarkably - adding 10s of millions of euros to the taxpayers' burden of maintaining the structure of the building, which is now 50 years old and in need of renovation," they said.

"Obviously, this huge investment would only be made by PSG (or any other party) if we actually owned the Parc des Princes.

"It is unfortunate that the mayor is now suddenly closing down for good the sale discussions we have been having for so long, with the club now sadly forced to move forward with alternative options for our home that are not what the club or our supporters wanted."

Since taking over the club in 2011, PSG have invested more than 85m euros on stadium maintenance, with the commitment to invest a further 500m euros in renovations to grow and compete with other clubs at the highest level in Europe.

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