Two top soccer players have played against each other 36 times, and the Argentine team won 16 of those matches.
In February 2024, soccer fans can look forward to witnessing a showdown between two of the “greatest footballers of all time,” Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The rivalry between these iconic players will be reignited as Inter Miami has confirmed its participation in the thrilling Riyadh Season Cup.
Miami is set to compete against two prominent Saudi teams, facing Al-Hilal on January 29 and Al-Nassr on February 2. This implies that Lionel Messi will be on the field against Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo within three days.
“Our team will face crucial tests in these matches, providing valuable experience as we prepare for the upcoming season,” expressed Chris Henderson, the sporting director of Inter Miami. “We are enthusiastic about the opportunity for our group to compete against high-quality teams like Al-Hilal and Al Nassr.”
Adding a stop to our Preseason International Tour📍🌏— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) December 11, 2023
We will play two matches in Saudi Arabia in the Riyadh Season Cup as part of our first-ever international tour!
In a round-robin tournament format, we will take on Saudi powerhouses Al-Hilal SFC and Al Nassr FC on Monday,… pic.twitter.com/Xi9M0QApLi
These two have played against each other a total of 36 times. The Argentine team won 16 times, El Bicho’s side won 11 times, and the remaining games ended in draws.
Messi scored 22 goals and made 11 assists in those matches, while Ronaldo scored 21 goals and secured one assist.
Messi, who is 36 years old, achieved his success mainly at Barcelona. In contrast, Ronaldo, aged 38, reached significant milestones while playing for fierce rivals Real Madrid after transferring from Manchester United in 2009.
They last faced each other in January, when Paris Saint-Germain, Messi’s former team, won 5-4 against a Riyadh All-Stars XI squad in Saudi Arabia.
Lots of people thought it might be the last time Messi and Ronaldo played together on the field because they were getting close to the end of their careers and playing in different parts of the world.
It would have been perfect if their goodbye game happened in the World Cup or Champions League, big events that match their importance in the sport. But the Riyadh Season Cup might give a final and clear ending to their long-lasting competition on the field.
For more than ten years, Messi and Ronaldo have been the stars of world football. Ronaldo won his first out of five Ballon d’Or awards in 2008, and together, they won 12 out of the next 14 years.
When Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009, it made them rivals in a significant European competition for nine seasons.
Fans always argued about who was better, but with Messi’s eight Ballon d’Or awards and Argentina winning the 2022 World Cup, many think Messi has the edge. Still, fans will probably keep debating as long as both players are still playing.