For perhaps the last time, Lionel Messi will face Cristiano Ronaldo as Al-Nassr hosts Inter Miami in a club friendly. On Tuesday, Riyadh Season, an annual sports and entertainment festival, announced a friendly match between the two clubs in February this year. This is part of the Riyadh Seasons Cup. The friendly match will take place in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Al-Hilal, another team from Saudi Arabia, will participate in the friendly matches. Neymar would play, but will be nursing an ACL injury in February.
Inter Miami friendlies have been a hot commodity for clubs around the world with Messi in the fold. Originally Inter Miami scheduled two matches in China. However, who fell into the water because of head of the organizing group for games. Even if these games were scheduled for this month, Inter Miami will still be in the offseason in February. The MLS regular season for 2024 does not have a firm start date. In all likelihood, this will begin at the end of February.
During the February matches, Al-Nassr will be at mid-season. Currently, the Saudi club is second in the Saudi Pro League standings behind Al-Hilal. Following the trend of European football, the season ends at the end of May 2024. This match against Inter Miami will, however, be a major match for Al-Nassr, as the club continues to push its worldwide popularity.
Inter Miami and Al-Nassr present Messi and Ronaldo in “Last Dance”
The Riyadh Season Cup press release called this meeting between the two icons the “last dance” on the field. This phrase has been bandied about for several players and matchups like this. Yet few could compare to the stature of players like Ronaldo and Messi. Despite the nature of an international friendly match and the participation of Al-Hilal. The main attraction of Inter Miami and Al-Nassr is that Messi and Ronaldo share a pitch.
The two greatest talents of their time met throughout their careers. When Ronaldo was a burgeoning star at Manchester United, he and the Red Devils faced a young Messi at Barcelona in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League semi-final. Then they met the following year for the same clubs in the UEFA Champions League final. Ronaldo later joined Real Madrid, which made their clashes frequent. Sometimes Messi had the upper hand. However, Ronaldo led Real Madrid to great successes in his time.
Their abilities as players made them the central subject of football debates. Some prefer Ronaldo, others Messi. Almost everyone can agree that they are both legends in the history of the game. In their duels in all competitions, both players scored 23 goals. Messi, however, has more assists and wins in those 37 games between the two.
Another meeting in Saudi Arabia
Their next clash in Saudi Arabia will certainly be their last. The last time the two played was also a charity match as part of Riyadh’s season. Messi and Ronaldo scored as PSG beat the Riyadh All-Stars in a friendly, 5-4. This event features multiple matches, which means more action for fans in Saudi Arabia to watch rather than just one match.