On Monday, Inter Miami announced that it will participate in the Riyadh Season Cup. This was previously mentioned by Saudi officials on November 21. Inter Miami clarified that the reports at that time were not accurate.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will indeed come together in Saudi Arabia.
Inter Miami is set to play against Al-Hilal on January 29 and Al Nassr, which is Ronaldo’s team, on February 1. These two clubs are currently at the top of the Saudi Pro League, with Ronaldo being the leading scorer in the league.
Inter Miami’s Sporting Director, Chris Henderson, mentioned, “These matches will be crucial tests for our team and will help us as we get ready for the upcoming season. We’re thrilled that our group will have the opportunity to compete against teams of high quality like Al-Hilal and Al Nassr.”
Messi and Ronaldo have played against each other 35 times in club and country matches, according to Inter Miami. Messi’s teams have won 16 times, Ronaldo’s teams have won 10 times, and they’ve drawn on nine occasions. In these matches, Messi contributed 21 goals and 12 assists, while Ronaldo scored 20 goals and provided one assist.
Messi has supported tourism in Saudi Arabia, and in May, his former club Paris Saint-Germain suspended him for taking an unauthorized trip to the country. He also participated in this year’s Riyadh Season Cup when PSG was the guest team.
Saudi Arabia has aimed to become a significant player in global soccer by signing some of the sport’s top players, though there are allegations of sportswashing. However, when Messi left PSG at the end of the last season, the oil-rich kingdom was unable to attract him. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner chose to join Major League Soccer instead.
Messi and Ronaldo are widely regarded as two of the greatest players in soccer history. They competed against each other during their prime years at Barcelona and Real Madrid, contending for the sport’s most significant awards.
Inter Miami has revealed four preseason matches so far. They include a game against the El Salvador national team on January 19 and a match against a team of top players in Hong Kong on February 4. The MLS season is anticipated to start in late February.