Paris Saint-Germain and Lionel Messi are making waves everywhere they go, so much so that Al-Hilal has had to fend off questions ahead of an Asian Champions League final second leg against Urawa Red Diamonds. With Messi seemingly set to leave PSG at the end of the season when his contract expires, Al-Hilal is one of the places where he could land along with Barcelona and Inter Miami but their head coach Ramon Diaz wants to focus on their match Saturday.
Level 1-1 on aggregate with the Urawa Reds, it’s anyone’s game but Al-Hilal will be without Salem Aldawsari after he picked up a red card in the first leg. Also scoring their solo goal in that game, the midfielder will be a big loss giving Diaz even more reasons to make sure his team is on their game.
“Now we’re focused on the game,” said Diaz. “We have the final and after the final, we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
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How to watch
- Date: Saturday, May 5 | Time: 5 a.m. ET
- Location: Saitama Stadium 2002 — Saitama, Japan
- TV: CBS Sports Golazo Network | Live stream: Paramount+
As they look to win their fifth Asian Champions League title, it’s not a distraction that the team can afford right now. They are the current holders of the title as well after defeating the Pohang Steelers for the 2021 title. While Diaz did dismiss speculating now, it is important to note that he didn’t rule out an offer for Messi with waiting to see what will happen.
It’s anyone’s guess on where Messi will land this season but teams and leagues around the world have been very public in their pursuit of him. MLS commissioner Don Garber has talked about the league’s flexibility to pursue Messi. La Liga president Javier Tebas has even outlined how Barcelona could clear space for Messi while Al-Hilal reportedly has the highest value offer on the table.
It’s a very public pursuit of Messi but for this weekend at Al-Hilal, there are more important matters to attend to.