Over two million people have reportedly requested a ticket to watch Cristiano Ronaldo potentially take on Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in Saudi Arabia on January 19.
Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal's joint team will face PSG in an exhibition match at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh later this month. The 68,000-capacity stadium could see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face each other for the first time in more than two years.
The last time they were on the pitch together was in December 2020. Ronaldo's brace helped Juventus beat Messi's Barcelona 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League on that occasion.
The Portugal icon signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Saudi Arabian club last month. This leaves friendly matches and the FIFA Club World Cup as the only way these two can play against each other at club level for now.
Messi (35) and Ronaldo (37) are also in the twilight of their careers. Fans perhaps realize that they won't have many chances to see them play against each other after this.
As per ESPN, over two million of them were in an online queue at one point to get tickets for the match when the sale went live earlier this month. It is yet to be confirmed if the two will feature in the contest.
Ronaldo's debut for Al-Nassr has been delayed by a two-game suspension for smashing a phone out of an Everton fan's hand during his time at Manchester United. However, he will be cleared to play by the time PSG arrive in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi businessman leads bidding for 'Beyond Imagination' ticket to meet Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
The 'Beyond Imagination' ticket is open to bidding, where al-Ghamdi is currently leading with the aforementioned bid. This is according to the Saudi government's entertainment arm on Twitter (h/t The Guardian).
The winner will get to attend the winner's ceremony and meet the two superstars in the dressing room after the game. This and the aforementioned fan interest in tickets indicate the level of craze in the build-up to the match on January 19.
PSG boss Christophe Galtier, however, didn't seem too pleased with the timing of the friendly. It is sandwiched right between the Parisians' Ligue 1 clash against Stade Rennais on January 15 and their French Cup round-of-32 tie eight days later.
Galtier recently told a press conference (h/t RMC Sport):
"The commitment was made last season, the club must respect it. Is it well placed? We had to respect the commitment that was made. I comply with the commitments that have been made."
Given their fixture list, it remains to be seen how many of their key players PSG will deploy on January 19.