Messi vs Ronaldo: What a match between the two legends tells us about the future of sport

Ronaldo (left) and Messi shake hands before a Portugal v Argentina friendly match in 2016.

Photo credit, Getty Images

image caption,

Ronaldo and Messi symbolize the growing influence of the Gulf countries on world sport

The tantalizing prospect of a meeting between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo naturally dominated the preparation for the match between French champions Paris Saint Germain and a Saudi All-Star XI on January 19 in Riyadh.

But this friendly match is another example of the growing influence of the Gulf countries in sport – and it goes far beyond the decision to stage this exhibition match in Saudi Arabia.

Since 2011, PSG has been owned by Qatari investors linked to the country’s royal family and the resulting injection of cash has brought global superstars like Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar to the club.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *