The much-hyped ‘Last Dance’ between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is off after the Portugal forward was ruled out through injury.
The 38-year-old is still struggling with a calf injury that prompted his Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr to postpone two friendlies in China last week, much to the frustration of local fans.
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It had been hoped he would be fit to face Messi’s Inter Miami side tomorrow in a friendly in Riyadh but Al-Nassr boss Luis Castro says his star striker is still not ready to return.
He said: “We will not see Messi versus Ronaldo. Ronaldo is in the final part of his recovery to join the group.
“We hope that in the next few days he can start working with the team. He will be absent from the game.”
It’s a huge blow for organisers who were hoping to stage potentially the last meeting between the two greatest players of the last 15 years. Former Real Madrid star Ronaldo and ex-Barcelona hero Messi have duelled spectacularly throughout their careers, most notably during their time in Spain, fighting for team and individual honours.
Messi has eight Ballons d’Or while Ronaldo has five. The Argentine World Cup winner also leads the head-to-head against Ronaldo, winning 16 of their 36 on-field meetings (nine draws) across La Liga, Champions League, Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercopa and International Friendlies.