In a spectacular twist in the world of soccer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are set to headline “The Last Dance” at the Riyadh Season Cup during the MLS preseason. Inter Miami, representing Argentina, will face off against Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, marking the 37th and final encounter between these two icons of the sport.
The announcement came shortly after Inter Miami’s Sporting Director, Chris Henderson, hinted at the club’s preparations for the 2024 preseason. Anticipation among fans had been building for a friendly against Messi’s childhood club, Newell’s Old Boys. Now, the confirmation of this epic clash elevates the tournament to a prominent position on the global soccer calendar.
Dubbed “The Last Dance,” the showdown between Messi and Ronaldo symbolizes the conclusion of a rivalry that defined an era. With 36 previous encounters, the Argentine holds the advantage with 16 victories, while Ronaldo seeks to conclude this historic series on a high note. The Riyadh Season Cup won’t just be a tournament; it will be a celebration of the legacy of these two giants of the sport.
In addition to the Messi-Ronaldo face-off, the presence of Al-Hilal, featuring Neymar (despite his absence due to injury), adds an extra touch of stardom to the tournament. The competition promises to attract global attention, providing fans with an exclusive view of some of the world’s best players in action.
The press release highlights the global recognition of the tournament and praises the development of soccer in Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the transformations in the entertainment sector in the Kingdom. The event is not just an opportunity for players to shine but also a platform to showcase the continued growth of the sport in regions not traditionally associated with elite soccer.
While Messi faces Brazil in the CONMEBOL qualifiers before returning to the MLS offseason in Miami, Ronaldo returns to Saudi Arabia after his appearances with Portugal. Al-Nassr, led by Ronaldo, faces a significant test against Al-Akhdoud on Friday afternoon, promising more excitement for avid fans.
As we prepare for “The Last Dance,” it is impossible not to reflect on the grandeur of Messi and Ronaldo’s careers. This tournament is not just a final chapter; it is a milestone in the history of soccer, an epic farewell from two of the greatest players to have graced the soccer fields. May the best prevail, and may the soccer world bow before the magnitude of this moment.