Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could be about to face off one final time with the Argentina international’s Inter Miami and the Portuguese superstar’s Al-Nassr expected to both be part of the Riyadh Season Cup roster in Saudi Arabia come February of next year.
The tournament, as part of Riyadh Season activities, was announced on Tuesday and will bring Al Nassr and Al Hilal together with the Major League Soccer outfit as part of a league setup with the schedule yet to be confirmed.
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This latest and possibly final meeting between eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi and five-time winner Ronaldo is being dubbed “The Last Dance” in a tip of the hat to the 2020 miniseries which covered basketball legend Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls franchise.
“H.E Turki Alalshikh welcomed the participation of Inter Miami CF, noting that the tournament will have a global following due to the prominent international football stars who play for the three clubs,” read a statement shared by Turki Alalshikh, Saudi Arabian’s Chairman of General Authority of Entertainment. “He stressed that the league is an extension of the major international events that Riyadh Season presents to visitors and to the world.”
Although the competition has been revealed, Inter Miami, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are yet to officially confirm their participation although “stars of all participating clubs” are expected for the event which will take place at the recently inaugurated Kingdom Arena.
“For his part, Mr. Jorge Mas welcomed the participation of Inter Miami CF in Riyadh Season, praising the great development witnessed in the field of football in Saudi Arabia,” added the statement. “In addition to the great transformations witnessed in the entertainment sector in the Kingdom.”
Although Neymar is under contract with Al-Hilal, the Brazil international’s injury is likely to prevent his participation in the game and a first reunion since both he and Messi left Paris Saint-Germain last summer after two seasons together in the French capital.
Despite Neymar’s anticipated absence on the field, Al-Hilal do still boast the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Malcom and Yassine Bounou in Jorge Jesus’ squad as well as Saudi captain and Green Falcons star Salem Al-Dawsari.
“The Last Dance” stars:
- Lionel Messi
- Sergio Busquets
- Jordi Alba
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Sadio Mane
- Seko Fofana
- Marcelo Brozovic
- Aymeric Laporte
- Alex Telles
- David Ospina (injured)
- Neymar (injured)
- Aleksandar Mitrovic
- Ruben Neves
- Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
- Kalidou Koulibaly
- Yassine Bounou