Parisians will definitely make a detour via the Middle East this winter.
Between a trip to Rennes on January 15 and a Coupe de France weekend (January 21-22), Paris Saint-Germain will play a friendly match in Saudi Arabia against a selection of the best players from two of the country's leading teams. : Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr, the club of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The game will be held on January 19 at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Paris Saint-Germain will perform its traditional winter tour in Qatar and will play a friendly match in Riyadh!
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) January 9, 2023
This may be the opportunity to witness one of the ultimate duels between Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, while Kylian Mbappé should also be there to share the light with the two rivals.
On Sunday, Rudi Garcia, coach of Al-Nassr, said on the sidelines of a visit to the Dakar that Cristiano Ronaldo "should make his debut in Saudi Arabia on January 19 against PSG.
It won't be with Al-Nassr's jersey.
It will be a mix between Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.
Me, as coach of Al-Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match.
For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, it's actually a good thing.
But we have a Championship match three days later.
In terms of programming, it could have been better thought out.
But it's not very serious.
On January 18, PSG players will have trained in the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, used during the World Cup in Qatar.
A way to "meet their supporters from Qatar and the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa)", according to the press release from the capital club.
Read alsoPSG: the underside of the friendly match in Saudi Arabia scheduled for January 19
The Parisian team, its women's section or the handball team, had already made several tours in Qatar.
On the other hand, playing a meeting on Saudi soil may come as a surprise, given the tense diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries.
These had warmed up during the World Cup in Doha before cooling down due to the audiovisual war in which Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been engaged for years.
During the World Cup, Saudi Arabia blocked the broadcast of 42 matches produced by BeIN Sport, the Qatari channel whose president is… Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the president of PSG.