What happened in Saudi Arabia, unfortunately, didn’t stay in Saudi Arabia, landing Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi in a soup, aka suspension. An unauthorized (and enjoyable) trip to the Middle East landed the living sports legend with a two-week punishment and his pay being docked. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, the football star was offered a $400 million annual contract to play with the Saudi Pro League this summer, the Telegraph reported. That’s a giant leap, nearly double what Cristiano Ronaldo signed to play in Saudi Arabia until the summer of 2025.
The suspension has made matters worse for PSG. Messi had previously agreed to a deal in principle to stay with PSG, but following the disciplinary action, he will not renew his contract, BBC reported. The Saudi Arabia minister of tourism, Ahmed al-Khateeb, posted a welcome message to Messi and his family on Twitter.
Messi is an ambassador with Visit Saudi, the tourism ministry’s promotional brand.
Messi and his family were seen reveling in Saudi Arabian hospitality. The beautiful family visited At-Turaif, the 300-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site in Diriyah. From feeding Arabian gazelles on an authentic Saudi farm, the family also went to the Arabian Horse Museum and interacted with purebred Arabian horses. At the same time, Messi posed for pictures holding a white falcon on his arm. The Messis also enjoyed the luxury destination VIA Riyadh and Boulevard Riyadh City.