Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from the Riyadh Season Cup means fans won’t witness the anticipated reunion with Lionel Messi.
Messi and Ronaldo, prominent figures in football since 2008, departed European football within a six-month span in 2023, marking a significant shift in the landscape of the sport.
Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia initiated a trend of seasoned European stars joining the Middle Eastern league, with Neymar Jr. following suit.
Meanwhile, Messi chose a different path, leaving Paris Saint-Germain and opting for Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, declining a tempting offer from Saudi Arabia.
The Riyadh Season Cup clash between Inter Miami and Al-Nassr, coined the ‘Last Dance’ by fans, is set to be the final encounter between the two teams. Unfortunately, Ronaldo is confirmed to miss the match due to a recent recovery from a muscle injury, as stated by manager Luis Castro.
We will not see [Messi vs Ronaldo], Ronaldo is in the final part of his recovery to join the group. We hope that in the next few days he can start working with the team. He will be absent from the game,” he said.
The reported injury not only affected Ronaldo’s participation in the Riyadh Season Cup but also led to the cancellation of Al-Nassr’s mid-season tour of China, where matches against Zhejiang and Shanghai Shenhua were scheduled.
Meanwhile, Messi’s Inter Miami faced a setback in the competition, losing 4-3 to Al-Hilal despite contributions from the Argentina captain and Luis Suarez.