The first week of February 2024 marks a significant event in the world of football. It will be the “last dance” between two iconic players, Lionel Messi (36) and Cristiano Ronaldo (38), who have defined an era in the sport. Although it is uncertain, they are expected to meet again at the World Cup in 2026, leading Argentina and Portugal respectively.
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Inter Miami and Al-Nassr will face off in a mini-tournament called the Riyadh Season Cup. Al Hilal will also participate in this league-format tournament, where everyone plays against everyone. The schedule for the matches has yet to be announced.
Marcelo Brozović, a member of the Croatian national team, will directly be involved in this “last dance” as Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate. If that match were played a few months later, Luka Modrić might also participate since all participants in the tournament are potential clubs for his future career. However, that won’t happen until next summer.
The Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry goes back more than a decade ago when they both started their careers with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. Since then, they have met 37 times on the field, with Messi being slightly more successful (17-11 wins), while nine matches ended in a draw. Their last clash was particularly memorable when Messi led PSG to a 5-4 victory over Al-Nassr and Al Hilal combined team led by Ronaldo.
No matter who comes out on top or whether they end up tied again, one thing is clear – this duo has changed football and set new standards that may never be broken soon. Their impact on the sport cannot be overstated, and their legacy will continue to influence future generations of players for years to come.
Overall, it is an exciting time for football fans as we anticipate this upcoming clash between two legends of the game – Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo – at Riyadh Season Cup next year!