Cairo: A Saudi Internet influencer has his head shaved in a sign of disappointment over Argentine superstar Lionel Messi’s decision to join a US team instead of signing for Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal.
The Snapchat celebrity Abu Mashel posted a video of himself showing him inside a salon to have his head shaved after he had made an earlier bet to do so if the Argentine icon did not sign for Al Hilal.
“May Allah forgive you, Messi. You let me down!” Abu Mashel said in the video. Later he reappeared with a shaven head.
Messi has confirmed his decision to join the US Major League Soccer club of Inter Miami after his departure from French side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
The move comes to quash massive media speculation about a mega-deal offered by Al Hilal to the 35-year-old winner of the 2022 World Cup.
Messi played his final PSG match last Saturday, capping a two-season stint.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had earlier played for Spain’s Barcelona for more than a decade.
He is currently acting as an ambassador of Saudi tourism.
Last month, the football legend landed in Saudi Arabia, marking his second such trip to the kingdom.
In 2022, Messi was named an ambassador of the kingdom’s tourism as the country is seeking to draw more foreign holidaymakers and diversify its oil-reliant economy.
Messi visited Saudi Arabia in May last year for a holiday and returned last January to participate in an exhibition match with his French club against a team of Saudi premier league stars including his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr club earlier this year under a historic deal that made him the highest paid footballer in the world.
On several occasions, fans of rival teams taunted Ronaldo by shouting Messi’s name during fixture matches in Saudi Arabia.