...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Lionel Messi has reportedly agreed to sign with Saudi Arabia club Al Hilal once his contract with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) expires this summer.
The 35-year-old football legend joined PSG in the summer of 2021 after his longtime club FC Barcelona failed to renew his contract.
While Messi’s next destination has been uncertain, it has been reported that clubs in Saudi Arabia, Major League Soccer, and FC Barcelona are all interested in his services.
According to a source close to the negotiations, Messi has agreed to join Al Hilal this summer.
The contract is said to be exceptional and huge, with some small details being finalized.
Although official details of the deal have not been released, Messi is reportedly set to earn around €400 million per season, which is nearly three times more than what his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is earning at Saudi’s Al Nassr.
Both Messi’s potential deal and Ronaldo’s contract are being financed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with over $620 billion in assets.
The source claims that the negotiations for Messi didn’t take as much time as those with Ronaldo, adding that Saudi Arabia brought Messi in, not a specific club.
Messi’s move to Saudi Arabia has generated mixed reactions from fans and analysts, with some expressing excitement over the prospect of seeing him play in a new league, while others question the morality of a country with a poor human rights record and questionable treatment of migrant workers hosting high-profile sporting events.
Nevertheless, Messi’s footballing prowess remains undisputed, and his move to Al Hilal could have significant implications for the future of football in Saudi Arabia.