Turki Al-Sheikh, head of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said that the Riyadh Season Cup match has attained global attention and will be aired throughout the world from Japan to Hawaii. Cristiano Ronaldo has been confirmed as the captain for a Saudi All-Star XI, comprising a mixture of players from Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal that will take on PSG on Thursday evening, Jan. 19, at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.
Al-Sheikh presented Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, the All-Star XI captain’s armband and shirt during a ceremony in Riyadh. Al-Sheikh said: “The Riyadh Season Cup match will be broadcast across the Middle East over two platforms. The match has already attained global attention, and the television channels are racing to obtain the rights for live broadcast.”
“We have extended invitations to 50 legends of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal with 25 from each side, and this is their right over us. “During the half time of the match, three members from among the football fans, who came to watch the match, will be randomly selected to obtain shirts signed by Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar from Paris Saint Germain, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Salem Al-Dossary from the side of the Riyadh Season.” The GEA chief said that the organizers closed the site for the sale of tickets after all tickets were sold out. “There is a Spanish international journalist who told me this is the greatest friendly match that has ever happened in history.” He said that a star from Al-Hilal and another from Al- Nassr would be present in the commentary box during the match, along with the French star Thierry Henry and Italian Francesco Totti.
“I am excited about this historic event, and I hope that Marcelo Gallardo, coach of the Saudi select team, would not leave Saudi Arabia, and that he would take over the training of a Saudi team. What prompted us to choose him is his keenness on the match rather than the financial remuneration apart from his vast experiences.” “We want a strong and enjoyable match between the two sides. The auction of the special ticket “Beyond Imagination” fetched SR10 million. I am not sure if it is possible to repeat that event or not. Anyhow, I hope it can be repeated.” Al-Sheikh said while replying to a question in Korah Rotana Television program that he considers Maradona as the greatest player ever. He was asked to make a comparison between the international football stars Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed with the Saudi club Al-Nassr earlier this month.
Al-Sheikh said: “My relationship is strong with Ronaldo and Messi. Cristiano asked me who is the greatest among us and I answered him that Maradona is the greatest for me,” he said. He continued: “The two are among the greatest players in the world and I have a strong relationship with them, but Maradona is the greatest ever and this is a fact. I did not escape the question.”