Messi vs Ronaldo One Last Time: Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr will face Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami in what could be the final chapter in the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
CR7’s move to the Saudi Pro League sent shockwaves in global football. He was the first superstar to move to a Saudi club in what was perceived as a nation looking to grow in football power. Following in Ronaldo’s footsteps, several football superstars, including former Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema have now joined the Saudi Pro League.
One of those superstars could’ve very well been Lionel Messi, who Al-Hiilal offered a mammoth contract. But the Argentine World Cup winner instead chose to sign with Inter Miami for a smaller base contract. However, Messi was offered a percentage in profits across the whole league and their broadcast by Apple and many more benefits.
Messi vs Ronaldo One Last Time?
In that will be the first Messi vs Ronaldo meet since the former has left European football behind, Al-Nassr will take on Inter Miami in a club friendly on February 1, in Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena at 9 PM local time (11:30 PM IST).
This will be the 38th meeting between two of the greatest footballers of all time. Most of their clashes came during their iconic times playing in La Liga. Messi’s first professional club since turning a teenager was Barcelona, while Ronaldo signed with Real Madrid in 2009 for a world record fee. Their rivalry to be the best in the world made the El Classico, already the biggest fixture in world football, even more of a spectacle.
In their 37 meetings so far, 30 have been in El Classico. Their first meeting came at one of the biggest stages in the world, at the 2007 Champions League semifinals, back when Ronaldo played for Manchester United. The Portuguese icon missed the first leg which United one, but he and Messi faced off in the second leg which ended 0-0.
The biggest win margin in a Ronaldo vs Messi match-up came during an El Calssice on November 30, 2010, where Messi’s Barca defeated Ronaldo’s Los Blancos 5-0. Neither Lionel nor Cristiano scored a goal that night, but that is considered one of the most iconic matches in the history of the Blaugrana.
Lionel Messi’s best performance against Cristiano Ronaldo came in the El Classico on March 24, 2014. The Argentine maestro scored three and assisted one in Barca’s 3-4 victory against Real Madrid.
On the other hand, the second leg of a Copa Del Ray match-up between the two Spanish sides showed us arguably the best Ronaldo performance in this rivalry, scoring two goals in Camp Nou, winning the match 3-1 for his side and stunning the crowd into silence.
The highest-scoring contest where Messi and Ronaldo have played was their most recent friendly when Messi was still with Paris Saint Germain as they took on CR7’s Al-Nassr on January 19, 2023. Messi scored one, while Ronaldo scored two in PSG’s 5-4 win over AL-Nassr. For his two goals, Cristiano Ronaldo was named the player of the match.
Messi vs Ronaldo has also taken place on the international stage, as Argentina and Portugal have collided twice when these two men have been a part of the squad. Both Ronaldo and Messi scored one goal each in their first international meeting on February 9, 2011, in a friendly. While Angel Di Maria opened the scoring in the 14th minute, Cristiano equalized the scores in the 20th. Messi then won the match with a penalty in the 89th minute.
In all 37 Messi vs Ronaldo head-to-head meetings, Messi’s team has come out of the top 17 times, while Ronaldo’s team has won on 11 occasions. 9 matches between the two have ended in a draw.
Ronaldo has scored 21 and assisted 1 goal in his meetings against Messi, while the Argentine has scored 22 and assisted 11 in these match-ups.
And now, in what could be Messi vs Ronaldo one last time, Al-Nassr will take on Inter Miami on February 1, 2024.
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