Jean-Baptiste Sarrazin 8:48 p.m., January 17, 2023, modified at 8:50 p.m., January 17, 2023

The football world will be watching Saudi Arabia on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain will face a team made up of two Saudi clubs: Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, an agreement led by Cristiano Ronaldo.

A move by PSG which sparked debate in "Europe 1 Sport".

Football fans will be satisfied: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will face off one last time in a match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday at 6 p.m.

At 37, the Portuguese will be in the selection of the best players of a team bringing together two clubs, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, two major entities of the Saudi Championship.

Facing him, the Paris Saint-Germain of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.

A friendly match in full resumption of the championship which questioned on the set of

Europe 1 Sport

, a program which takes place every evening from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. live on Europe 1.

But this opposition does not present any sporting stake, which arouses the debate.

"There is no sporting interest. It's not a preparation match or a competition. It's a gala match that will allow Paris Saint-Germain to shine a little more in the world and then in the Gulf", reacted the former PSG player Jimmy Algerino on the set of

Europe 1 Sport


Geopolitical interest

The date also questions.

Two weeks after the resumption of Ligue 1, PSG even requested a postponement for the Coupe de France match against Pays de Cassel, a request accepted.

For Sasha Beckermann, "the timing is quite amazing. We are coming back from the World Cup, it was a month ago. The only sporting interest will be the face-to-face between Messi and Ronaldo and again Ronaldo will be captain of two teams. blended into one."

But behind this match between two clubs with colossal fortunes, it is Qatar and Saudi Arabia who intend above all to put themselves forward on the international scene.

Thus, "the interest of this meeting is more geopolitical. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have streamlined their relations since 2021 after a crisis that lasted four years against a backdrop of terrorism. I have the impression that the “Saudi Arabia wants to be the new Qatar geopolitically and in terms of the soft-power of sport”, detailed Sasha Beckermann in

Europe 1 Sport


For several years, Saudi Arabia has used sport as a showcase.

Organization of the Asian Winter Games, organization of the Dakar this year, the Gulf country now seems to have understood the challenges that this area represents.

10 million euros for PSG

This two-day tour of Paris Saint-Germain will bring in 10 million euros for the capital club.

"Ten million is what", wondered Thierry Bretagne in

Europe 1 Sport


"Is it one or two months of Messi's salary? PSG absolutely does not need it," he then shouted.

Anyway, this match abroad has sown discord in French football.

The French Football Federation had no other choice than to move the 16th in the Coupe de France from PSG against Pays de Cassel, an honorary division club initially scheduled for this weekend.

As if PSG needed to load its already overloaded calendar.