Cristiano Ronaldo is coming to Dubai this festive period to address the Dubai International Sports Conference.

The Real Madrid star will help open the two-day event, which takes place at Mina Al-Salam Hotel in Jumeira from December 28, under title ‘Empowering the Future of Football’.

It will be the second time he has appeared at the conference – the first in 2011 – and is part of an extended trip to the Middle East, during which he will feature in an exhibition match with Paris St Germain in Doha, Qatar.

The Portuguese international, who was sold by Manchester United for a then world-record of £80million in 2009, will be joined throughout Saturday and Sunday by a number of other huge names from the world of football. They include former England manager Fabio Capello, Barcelona and Spain star Xavi Hernandez, Diego Maradona, Bayern Munich pair Franck Ribery and Pep Guardiola, Juventus manager Antonio Conte and world-renowned referee Pierluigi Collina. Liverpool legend Ian Rush was also confirmed on December 24.

Ronaldo, who does in some way replace his namesake – the retired Brazilian – who pulled out over the weekend – recently became the fourth-highest goalscorer in Real Madrid’s history with 164 goals. Raul leads the way with 228 goals.

Mohammed Al-Kamali of Dubai Sports Council and Head of the conference’s organizing committee, stated: “Ronaldo’s participation in this event confirms the unique status of the Conference, taking into that the current edition is also decided to be addressed by Ribery and Xavi Hernandez”.