Cristiano Ronaldo “turns down a lucrative £ 5.3 million a year contract to become the face of Saudi Arabian tourism” with the country still badly hit by questionable human rights records – while “Lionel Messi was also raised” to drive the campaign forward
- The deal included Cristiano Ronaldo’s face appearing on all promotional materials
- It is also foreseen that the Portuguese superstar would visit the country
- An offer has also been made to Lionel Messi as Saudi Arabia wants to improve its image
- Ronaldo became football’s top scorer earlier this week
- Messi has now won a record six world crowns for the year
Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly turned down a multi-million pound offer to become the face of Saudi tourism.
The deal was worth € 6 million a year (£ 5.3 million) and includes Ronaldo visiting the country and using his image in all promotional materials.
Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi has also been approached by the Saudi Arabian Tourism Authority, but his opinion on the proposal is not yet known.
Cristiano Ronaldo has turned down a lucrative offer to become the face of Saudi Arabian tourism
Ronaldo became football’s top scorer when Juventus won the Supercoppa Italiana
Both Ronaldo and Messi representatives refused to discuss the matter when raised by The Telegraph.
Earlier this week, Ronaldo became the highest-scoring player in football history when Juventus beat Napoli to win the Italian Super Cup, while Messi won six World Player of the Year as a record player.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to become an attractive tourist hub through its “Visit Saudi” campaign, with the country’s reputation lying in the doldrums in the doldrums of its checked human rights record, although travel is currently due to Covid-19 and Visit Saudi Ads are limited stating that a visa is required to be purchased to go there.
The international reach of two of the most successful players to ever play the game would have made their campaign a significant impact, but any athlete willing to strike a deal with the kingdom would face heavy criticism.
It is unknown if six-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will accept the Saudi offer
Saudi Arabia generally uses sport as a means of self-improvement. Last January the Spanish Super Cup took place in Jeddah. Messi’s Barcelona fought for the cup alongside Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
Barca manager at the time, Ernesto Valverde, admitted that “we’re here for the money” in the first year of a three-year period worth £ 102million for the Spanish Football Association (although this year the event was ultimately held in Spain due to the Coronavirus pandemic).
Messi was also in Riyadh in November 2019 to play a friendly for Argentina against Brazil. There he met Turki Al-Sheikh, the chairman of the country’s “General Entertainment Authority” and majority owner of the Segunda Division team Almeria.