Ronaldo and Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be the centre of attraction in the Riyadh Super Cup on Thursday. Image Credit: AP/Reuters

Dubai: Football fans across the world are eagerly awaiting for the clock to tick 9pm UAE when football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off in the Riyadh Season Cup at King Fahd International Stadium on Thursday.

beIN Sports will be telecasting the match live across all its territories (Middle East and North Africa, France, Turkey, Asia, North America and Australasia) the showdown between Riyadh All-Star XI, made up of players from Saudi Pro League teams Al Nassr and Al Hilal, against French champions Paris Saint Germain, who also have Neyman, Kylian Mbappe, top-scorer in the Qatar World Cup, and the Argentine in their ranks.

First in two years

Messi, who guided Argentina to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 title, and Ronaldo, who moved to Saudi Al Nassr in a blockbuster deal in January, have not faced each other since the clash between Juventus and Barcelona, which the Italians won 3-0, in December 2020.

The Saudi team will be led by legendary manager Marcelo Gallardo, a two-time Copa Libertadores winner as manager of River Plate.

In depth analysis

In Mena, live studio coverage before the match kicks-off on the beIN SPORTS free-to-air channel and beIN Sports 2 in Arabic at 8pm UAE, while English coverage starts at 8.30pm on beIN Sports English 1, leading right up to the opening whistle at 9pm. French commentary will also be provided on beIN Sports French 2.

Saudi presenter, Tariq Al Hammad, will lead the Arabic studio analysis and will be joined by former Saudi national team captain Yasser Al Qahtani, former Tunisian professional and African Footballer of the Year Tarek Dhiab and former Egyptian professional star Mohamed Aboutrika. The English studio will be fronted by beIN’s presenter Nicky Crosby with expert analysis from former French football professional and PSG player Didier Domi, who currently serves as a technical advisor to the PSG Academy in Doha.

TOD, beIN Media Group’s new streaming platform, will also stream the match.