Friday, December 08, 2023
By

Ronaldo vs Messi? Saudi Pro League's bid to rope in Inter Miami star

"The reasons that he ended up in MLS is something that I don’t have answers to," Emenalo says

Paris Saint-Germains Argentine forward Lionel Messi (left) and Riyadh All-Stars Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) on the pitch during the Riyadh Season Cup football match at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 19, 2023. — AFP
Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (left) and Riyadh All-Star's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) on the pitch during the Riyadh Season Cup football match at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 19, 2023. — AFP

Saudi Pro League Sporting Director Michael Emenalo has said that the league would be happy to welcome Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, hinting that they wanted to see him face off against Portuguese great Cristiano Ronaldo.

Emenalo’s comments came after Messi, in a startling revelation, said that he was once "tempted" to join former Real Madrid striker Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.

Messi, in an interview with Time, said that considered joining the "very powerful" Saudi league after his attempts to return to his former club Barcelona failed.

"It was Saudi Arabia or the Major League Soccer (MLS), and both options seemed very interesting to me," he said.

The famed striker bid farewell to Paris Saint-Germain and joined Inter Miami in the summer and has since brought notable fame and popularity to the US league.

Although he seems happy in the US, Emenalo believes the Pro League would be a better option for the World Cup winner.

"The reasons that he ended up in MLS is something that I don’t have answers to," Emenalo was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

"If he decides next season that he wants to come here, we will be happy to welcome him. If he wants to stay in MLS, we will be very, very happy for him."

On another potentially busy window in January, he added: "The Saudi Pro League is open for business to any superstar that wants to come. If there is an indication that there is an opening and any of the superstars that you know and I know says: ‘We are interested in coming to this league,’ we will work very very hard to bring them in.”