Sports, Football

Messi, Ronaldo to face each other in Saudi Arabia

By Reuters
Published : 12 Dec 2023 08:11 PM

Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami will play two matches in Saudi Arabia early next year including one against familiar foe Cristiano Ronaldo and his club Al-Nassr, the Major League Soccer team said on Monday.

The Riyadh Season Cup, a three-team round-robin tournament, is part of the team's first international tour, which will also include stops in El Salvador and Hong Kong.

Miami are set to take on Al-Hilal at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on Jan. 29 before facing Al-Nassr at the same venue on Feb. 1.

"This is another major opportunity to create lasting relationships with passionate fans," Inter Miami chief business officer Xavier Asensi said in a press release.

"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."

Messi and Ronaldo, who have faced each other more than 30 times in their careers, have won 13 Ballon d'Or awards between them, with the Argentine leading that race eight to five.

Messi received an offer to play in the Saudi league after leaving Paris St Germain but opted to sign with Miami, where he led the team to a trophy in the Leagues Cup and sent ticket prices skyrocketing.