November 21, (THEWILL) – Football icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set for a historic showdown next February in the Riyadh Season Cup. Messi’s Inter Miami will face Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in what could be the final meeting between the longtime rivals.
The 36-year-old Messi, after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022, joined MLS club Miami this past July. He sparked their successful championship run in the Leagues Cup. Ronaldo, 38, is in his first full season with Al Nassr after securing a lucrative contract in January, following his controversial exit from Manchester United.
Few details have been announced about the competition, but matches will take place in February at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. The tournament will feature a round-robin format between Miami, Al Nassr and another Saudi club, Al-Hilal. Al-Hilal boasts Brazilian legend Neymar, though he is currently recovering from injury.
Messi and Ronaldo last faced off in January 2022 in a friendly match in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo played for a Riyadh All-Star team that lost 5-4 to Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain. Their February meeting could be the final chapter of their long standing rivalry.
Both players have sparkling resumes. Messi is an eight-time Ballon d’Or winner who led Barcelona to numerous titles and his country to World Cup victory. Ronaldo, with five Ballon d’Or’s of his own, won five UEFA Champions League crowns at Real Madrid and Manchester United. February’s contest will pit their new clubs against one another on the global stage.