Ronaldo vs Messi: Meet Mushref al-Ghamdi, the Saudi mogul who paid Rs 21 crore for special ticket
A Saudi businessman, Mushref al-Ghamdi, has paid more than Rs 21 crore to watch Cristiano Ronaldo take on his old rival Lionel Messi when Riyadh All-Star XI face Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on Thursday.
A businessman from Saudi Arabia has paid 10 million riyals (Rs 21.64 crore) for a special ticket to watch the most recent instalment of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's storied football rivalry.
The Portuguese talisman, who signed for Al-Nassr in December, will play his first match in the kingdom for a local Riyadh All-Star XI against Messi's Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a prestige friendly on January 19 at the King Fahd Stadium at 10:30 PM IST.
And real estate mogul Mushref al-Ghamdi spent over Rs 21 crore at auction for a VIP ticket for the Ronaldo vs Messi clash, allowing him to meet the two titans of the game. The Saudi businessman will also be allowed to watch the award ceremony and enter the locker rooms.
Taking to Twitter, the Chairman of the Riyadh Season, Turki Al-Sheikh, said Mushref Al-Ghamdi, general manager of real estate group Aqar1, was the highest bidder for a "Beyond Imagination" ticket.
"Congratulations. The highest bid in the charity ticket auction "Above Imagination" presented by real estate businessman Musharraf Al-Ghamdi @mushref999 General Manager of Aqar1. The entire proceeds of the ticket went to Ihsan @EhsanSA," wrote Turki Al-Sheikh on Twitter.
Ehsan SA is a national platform for charitable work, established by a noble royal decree, that seeks to maximize the impact of the charitable sector and empower it digitally.
Besides being the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aqar1 companies and Ebtikar Information Technology Company, Mushref Al-Ghamdi is also a partner in Join Squadio and iBaloot. He is also the head of the real estate community in Jeddah and former vice-chairman of the Real Estate Committee.
Responding to Turki Al-Sheikh's message, Mushref Al-Ghamdi said, "Everything that we enjoy in this country of giving is nothing but the fruit of the generous giving of my Lord, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness, his trustworthy Crown Prince. On this occasion, I thank His Excellency Counselor Turki Al-Sheikh, and I bear witness to God that I share all the Saudi people in its reward."
Thursday's Ronaldo vs Messi clash will see the Portuguese icon debut on Saudi Arabian soil, three weeks after he signed for Al-Nassr on a contract worth 175 million pounds per year after his acrimonious exit from Manchester United. After losing favour at Manchester United and leaving for greener pastures outside of Europe, the 37-year-old striker gave an explosive interview to Piers Morgan in which he attacked the team and manager Erik ten Hag.
In the meantime, Messi scored upon his return to PSG as the French champions defeated Angers 2-0 on Wednesday. Numerous Saudi clubs have expressed interest in the Argentine, who won the World Cup trophy in December. Al-Hilal is allegedly eager to sign the forward at the end of the current campaign.