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Messi vs. Ronaldo: Inter Miami to face Al Nassr in Riyadh Season Cup

Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

The following was recently announced by Major League Soccer — Messi vs. Ronaldo: Inter Miami to face Al Nassr in Riyadh Season Cup

Two of the game’s greatest-ever players will meet on Feb. 1 (1 pm ET) as part of Inter Miami CF‘s first-ever international tour, pitting Lionel Messi‘s club against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr FC.

The preseason friendly, contested at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia’s capital city), is part of the Riyadh Season Cup. Additionally, Inter Miami will face Al Hilal SFC – current Saudi Pro League leaders – on Jan. 29 (1 pm ET) at the same venue to begin a round-robin tournament format.

Image Credit: MLS

While Al Hilal boast attackers like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic (Neymar is out injured), the star attraction is undoubtedly Messi vs. Ronaldo, who frequently squared off during their respective LaLiga days at FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The rivals have met 35 times throughout their esteemed careers, with Messi claiming 16 wins to 10 by Ronaldo (nine draws between them). In those matches, Messi has tallied 21 goals and 12 assists, while Ronaldo has registered 20 goals and one assist. They have also won a combined 13 Ballon d’Or awards, led by Messi’s world-record eight to Ronaldo’s five.

Further information on the matches, including broadcast details, will be announced at a later date.

“This is another major opportunity to create lasting relationships with passionate fans,” Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami’s chief business officer, said in a statement. “We are excited to connect with new supporters in Saudi Arabia, and also hope people all over the world will be tuning in to see a pair of dream matches like these.”

Additional 2024 preseason matches and destinations will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Inter Miami. Currently, they’re also slated to face El Salvador (Jan. 19) and the Hong Kong Team (Feb. 4).

Each match is building towards the club’s first full season with Messi, midfielder Sergio Busquets and left back Jordi Alba – all while striker Luis Suárez will reportedly join the club this winter upon leaving Brazilian side Grêmio. The club is managed by Gerardo “Tata” Martino.

Last July, Messi joined the Herons from Paris Saint-Germain en route to winning the 2023 Leagues Cup title and transforming the North American soccer landscape.

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