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Messi and Ronaldo to meet after all

Inter Miami last night backtracked on their earlier denials and confirmed they will play in the Riyadh Cup in the new year, pitting Lionel Messi against Cristiano Ronaldo once again.

Claims the two generational greats would meet first surfaced last month via a press release from the Saudi Arabian end, only for Inter Miami to deny any knowledge.

That stance changed when the South Florida club put out a statement last night, confirming a trip to the kingdom would form part of their preparations for the 2024 MLS season.

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Messi and Inter will play in a round-robin tournament that sees them meet Al-Hilal on January 29 before taking on Ronaldo’s Al Nassr three days later.

“This is another major opportunity to create lasting relationships with passionate fans. We are excited to connect with new supporters in Saudi Arabia, and also hope people all over the world will be tuning in to see a pair of dream matches like these,” said Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami chief business officer.

Inter sporting director Chris Henderson added: “These matches will offer important tests for our team, which will benefit us as we approach the new season. We’re excited for our group to get the chance to go up against teams with as much quality as Al-Hilal and Al Nassr.”

Messi, who is also an ambassador for the Sauri Tourism Agency, and Ronaldo won a combined 13 Ballons d’Or in their illustrious careers in Europe where they faced off 35 times in club and international competition.

Former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star Messi leads their head to head 16-10.

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