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June 20th , 2024

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LIONEL MESSI TRAVELLED TO SAUDI ARABIA HOURS AFTER SHOCK PSG DEFEAT

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A year ago

Lionel Messi travelled to Saudi Arabia with his family just hours after PSG suffered a shock home defeat to Lorient.

Despite Kylian Mbappe scoring an utterly bizarre goal, Christophe Galtier's side were beaten 3-1 at the Parc des Princes - with Enzo Le Fee, Darwin Yongwa, Bamba Dieng all on the scoresheet in a game where Achraf Hakimi saw red.

It was a sixth defeat of the Ligue One campaign for PSG, who remain five points clear at the top of the table.

They will look to get back on track against Troyes on Sunday, but talisman Messi will have quite the turnaround.

Messi played the full 90 minutes of the Lorient loss before jetting out to the Middle East, where he is poised to spend a "few days" according to Le Parisien.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was snapped at the airport in Riyadh, where his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo is based as part of his lucrative contract with Al Nassr.

This will be his third trip to the country and is a contractually obligated one because of Messi's role as a Saudi tourism ambassador.

“I am happy to welcome Saudi Tourism Ambassador Lionel Messi and his family on his second vacation in Saudi Arabia. We are happy to share our authentic Saudi welcome with you all,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said.

A series of pictures showing Messi and his family in Saudi have been published, while Messi posted about the country prior to his flight out.

"Who thought Saudi Arabia has so much green?" he wrote on Instagram. I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can."


Forgotten Man Utd star 'could be reunited with Ronaldo at Al-Nassr'

CRISTIANO RONALDO could be set to welcome a former Manchester United team-mate through the doors at Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo, 38, joined the Middle Eastern outfit midway through this season in a £173-MILLION-A-YEAR deal.

He left Old Trafford with his tail between his legs following a long-running spat with both the club and manager Erik ten Hag.

But now left-back Alex Telles may be about to be another shock acquisition by Al-Nassr.

The Brazilian defender, 30, has been out on loan with Sevilla this season.

It comes following the arrival of Tyrell Malacia as the back-up left-back to Luke Shaw.

Brandon Williams is also still an option for Ten Hag in that area.

According to AS, Al-Nassr have identified Telles as someone they would like to sign on a permanent deal.

He still has one year of his Man Utd contract remaining - which he signed in 2020 when joining from Porto for £15.4million.

His £100,000-a-week wages have reportedly put several clubs off.

But Al-Nassr do not see that as an issue as they bid to bring the Brazil star to Saudi.

Telles has played 32 times for Sevilla this season and was also picked by Brazil manager Tite in his World Cup squad - where he started one game.

Al-Nassr sit second in the Saudi Pro League, three points adrift of table toppers Al-Ittihad.

Ronaldo has scored 12 goals in 15 games for the club.

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