Bidder pays $2.6 million for ‘Beyond Imagination’ ticket to watch Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi

A Saudi Arabian businessman has won an auction for a golden ticket to watch Cristiano Ronaldo take on Lionel Messi with a bid of 10 million Saudi riyals ($2.6 million).

The chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment (GEA), Turki Al Sheikh, said Tuesday that businessman Mushref Al-Ghamdi, the general manager of real estate group AqarOne, was the winning bidder for the “Beyond Imagination” ticket, which gets the holder a seat at Paris Saint-Germain’s friendly match against a team comprised of players from Saudi teams Al Hilal and Al Nassr, the club that recently signed Ronaldo.

According to a video posted to Al Sheikh’s Twitter account, the winning bidder will get to attend the opening ceremony, watch the match next to the GEA chairman and have the chance to meet Ronaldo and Messi as well as the Argentine’s fellow PSG stars, Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé.

Auction winner Al-Ghamdi will also attend a gala lunch and be able to enter both teams’ locker rooms, as well as be a part of the crowning ceremony and join a group photo with the winning team.

Al Sheikh said the money from the winning bid will go to Saudi charity Ehsan. On its website, Ehsan says it works to enhance “the leading role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in development and charitable work.”

The game on January 19 in Saudi’s capital of Riyadh will be the first time Ronaldo and Messi have faced off since Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League in December 2020.

Ronaldo joined Al Nassr after the World Cup in December, while Messi has been a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia since May 2022.

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