Inter Miami denies its involvement in Saudi Arabia’s plans for a friendly match between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Inter Miami denies its involvement in Saudi Arabia’s plans for a friendly match between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect Inter Miami’s position following the club’s statement

Inter Miami has denied involvement in announced plans to meet Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a friendly match in Saudi Arabia in February.

The organizers announced the match between Inter Miami, a competitor in the American Football League, and the Saudi club Al-Nassr as part of the Riyadh Season Cup, and it was scheduled to take place, it was said. in the Kingdom Square.

A statement said that Miami has been confirmed as the “guest international team” for the three-team competition, and will be joined by clubs from the country, Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal.

The statement also included quotes from Turki Al Sheikh, Chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, in which he said: “We look forward to welcoming everyone from Inter Miami in February to attend the Riyadh Season Cup, which will bring together a number of the biggest international stars from all three competing clubs.

“The excitement and global interest we expect this tournament to generate expands on one of our key aspirations for the Riyadh Season – which is to create international events that visitors to Riyadh and fans around the world can enjoy.”

The statement also indicated that the match schedule will be announced in due course.

However, a statement from Miami later in the day contradicted the proposed hosts’ announcement, calling it “inaccurate.”

“Earlier today, an announcement was made stating that Inter Miami FC is scheduled to play in the Riyadh Season Cup. This is inaccurate,” the statement read. “The statement included statements attributed to team owner Jorge Mas. Maas has not made any comments, publicly or privately, regarding the pre-season tour.

“Since day one, Inter Miami FC has strived to become a global brand. To this end, we have been in talks to determine the 2024 pre-season schedule. We look forward to showcasing our players in Inter Miami FC’s first international tour which will be announced in the coming weeks.” .

Messi and Ronaldo have enjoyed one of the most prominent rivalries in the sport for a large portion of their careers.

Messi, 36, played most of his career at Barcelona, ​​while Ronaldo, 38, competed against the Argentine international during his successful spell at Real Madrid after his move from Manchester United in 2009.

Between 2008 and 2017, only Messi or Ronaldo lifted the men’s Ballon d’Or – the award given to the player considered the best in Europe.

The last time Messi played against Ronaldo was when his former team, Paris Saint-Germain, played against the Saudi Stars in January this year. Both players scored in the match.

Inter Miami signed Messi last July on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He has attracted interest from former FC Barcelona and clubs in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in January after United mutually terminated his contract.

Go deeper

“He sold himself to the devil” – Messi 2030 and a very uncomfortable deal with Saudi Arabia

(Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

(tags for translation) Inter Miami Football Club

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