[시사포커스 / 이근우 기자] It has been reported that Lionel Messi (36, Paris Saint-Germain) has received an offer from Al-Hilal in the Saudi Arabian Professional League.
The American sports media ‘Yahoo Sports’ quoted the French media ‘Foot Mercato’ on the 30th (local time) and said, “Messi received an offer of more than 1 billion pounds (about 1.64 trillion won) with Al Hilal. There was widespread speculation that Messi, the PSG striker and winner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, would leave Ligue 1 this summer.
Messi’s contract with PSG expires this summer. In fact, Messi, whose contract renewal negotiations broke down, was likely to leave PSG as a free agent (FA). The possibility of a return to FC Barcelona in Spain’s Primera Liga has been raised, but a transfer to Saudi Arabia, who are keen to recruit world-class football stars, is likely.
According to the media, it is known that Al-Hilal have offered Messi a two-year contract worth more than £1 billion. It is an annual salary of 600 million euros (about 849.6 billion won), an increase of 200 million euros from the previous year of 400 million euros (about 566.4 billion won). That is more than double the annual salary of Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nasr).
That is a huge sum for Messi to turn down in order to return to Barcelona. In addition, Barcelona has not yet been able to get out of financial difficulties, and the sale of current players is inevitable to raise funds. It is a situation where she has no choice but to fall far below the salary offered by Al-Hilal.
However, Messi’s transfer has not been officially confirmed, and Al-Hilal and Barcelona are still competing. Messi may prefer to return to Barcelona, but it remains to be seen whether he can resist the offer of Al-Hilal.