Messi is undoubtedly the best soccer player to ever grace the sport. He’s a known figure and his recent move to the MLS has been causing a lot of buzz across cyberspace lately with many wondering why he’d ditch hundreds of potential millions being offered by the Saudi government for the United States.
The intricacies of his move to the MLS is a personal and final decision but one other interesting move for the global soccer star his is scheduled appearance on Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao Live platform this coming Wednesday evening where he’s set to host a friendly match between last year’s World Cup Winners, Argentina, and Australia.
The live appearance will be made alongside popular Chinese influencer Li Xuanzhuo between 6 pm and 9 pm, according to an official poster released by Alibaba.
Alibaba did not disclose the commercial terms related to Messi’s appearance.
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According to news sources, the Argentine superstar made his arrival in the Chinese capital city on Saturday and is set to bring much-needed traffic to Alibaba’s Taobao Live Streaming platform which is in a battle against local rivals such as PDD Holdings’ Pinduoduo and ByteDance’s Douyin (Chinese TikTok).
The 7-time Ballon d’Or winner will be joined by the aforementioned Chinese influencer Li. who is popular for recently making sales of over six hundred thousand bottles of liquor in just three months while raking in more than US$7 million (CNY 50M).
Li, who made his live-streaming debut in 2019, is represented by Foshan Yowant Technology, a so-called multichannel network firm focusing on developing influencer content.
Founded in 2010, it entered the live-streaming industry in 2018 and went public in Shenzhen the same year.
Although there isn’t full information about the anticipated event but a screenshot of a notice circulating online has been attributed to Yowant which showed that the event will take place at Beijing’s Four Seasons Hotel, where Messi is staying.
Some 120 security guards are reportedly stationed on site.
This is Messi’s 7th trip to China and he is quite popular in the country. Fans can be seen on Saturday giving the soccer legend a rock-star welcome as his private jet landed in Beijing.
Several planned activities, including a fan meet-up in Beijing’s Sanlitun area, were canceled due to security reasons.
The friendly match will see Messi lead his side against Australia on Thursday at Beijing’s newly-renovated 68,000-seat Workers’ Stadium.