The date for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s last meeting on the pitch has been confirmed and there will be a trophy on the line.
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated world football for the last 15 years and have a total of 13 Ballon d’Ors and 79 major honours between them.
On the pitch, they’ve met on 35 occasions and raised one another’s game with their special performances.
Their most recent encounter was a friendly fixture where Ronaldo turned out for a Riyadh XI against Paris Saint-Germain back in January, with both players on the scoresheet.
But the two titans of world football will do battle again in a ‘Last Dance’ at the start of next year.
Having initially denied any involvement, Inter Miami have confirmed they will participate in the Riyadh Season Cup.
First up is a clash against an Al Hilal side featuring the likes of Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
That takes place on January 29, days before the fixture with Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in Riyadh on February 1.
It will serve as preparation for the new MLS season for Gerardo Martino’s side, who do not kick off their next campaign until the end of February at the earliest.
“This is another major opportunity to create lasting relationships with passionate fans,” Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami’s Chief Business Officer, commented.
“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.”
Al Hilal and Al Nassr will both play each other in the Riyadh derby and the team with the most points will take the inaugural trophy.
It could finally settle the age-old debate as to who is the greatest but in Ronaldo’s mind, their rivalry is no longer present.
“I don’t see things like that, the rivalry is gone,” Ronaldo said in September.
“It was good, spectators liked it. Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi and vice versa.
“We’ve done well, we have changed the history of football. We are respected all over the world, that’s the most important thing.
“He’s followed his path and I have followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe.