A Saudi real estate mogul, Mushref al-Ghamdi, splashed out $2.6m on a ticket during an auction to watch Cristiano Ronaldo face Lionel Messi in a charity friendly.
Excitement is building ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s friendly in Riyadhon Thursday against a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Saudi All-Star XI.
The game will also mark the Portuguese talisman’s debut on Saudi soil since joining Al-Nassr on an astronomical pay package. To promote the friendly, Turki al-Sheikh, an adviser at the Royal Court and head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, set up a special ticket for auction that would include perks like photo opportunities with players and access to the locker rooms. At the end of the bidding, Al-Sheikh announced on Twitter that Mushref al-Ghamdi has put in the winning bid of 10 million riyals ($2.6m).
“Congratulations, you deserve it, and may God reward you with good,” Sheikh said.
The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the national charity campaign known as Ehsan.
Paris Saint-Germain will earn €10m from the friendly which received over 2 million online ticket requests, according to L’Equipe. This is undoubtedly a special occasion as Ronaldo will face Messi for the first time since December 2020, when the 37-year-old was on the winning side as Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League.