Miami denies agreement for Messi and Ronaldo friendly match in Arabian Peninsula

ESPN News ServiceNovember 21, 2023 17:00 ESTReading: 4 minutes

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Inter Miami have denied a friendly match deal between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo announced by Saudi Arabian organizers.

Inter Miami denies agreeing to take part in Riyadh Season Cup friendly against Al Nasr in February 2024, in which Messi will face his arch-rivals for the last time cristiano ronaldoanyone.

Event organizers in Saudi Arabia announce ‘The Last Dance’ event Taking place via social media at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, a specific date has yet to be confirmed.

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will not meet in Arabia.Getty Images

However, Miami said late Tuesday that no deal had been reached.

“Earlier today, an announcement was made stating that Inter Miami FC planned to participate in the Riyadh Season Cup. This was inaccurate”Inter Miami FC Communications said in a statement. “The statement includes one from team owner Jorge Mas. But he has yet to make any comments, either publicly or privately, about the pre-season trip.

“From day one, Inter Miami CF has aspired to become a global brand. To this end, we have been in discussions to finalize our pre-season schedule for 2024. We look forward to showcasing our players on Inter Miami CF’s first international tour, which The tour will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Previous announcements stated that the three-team match would be completed by Neymar’s Al Hilal; Although the Brazil international is unlikely to feature after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last month.

Turki Alalshikh, President of the Saudi Arabian Federation, said: “We hope that this competition will generate excitement and global attention, thereby expanding one of our main aspirations for the Riyadh season: to host a tournament that will bring visitors to Riyadh and An international event that fans around the world can enjoy.” Entertainment Authority.

Saudi Arabia has gone to great lengths to recruit some of the game’s greatest players to become a major force in world football. But after leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season, he was unable to lure Messi to the oil kingdom, and the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner opted to move to Major League Soccer.

The two La Liga rivals last met in this tournament on January 19, 2023 in Riyadh.

The Riyadh Season Cup is scheduled to be held in the first week of February at the Kingdom Arena. The schedule has not yet been announced, but the three teams will play in round-robin play.

Inter Miami sporting director Chris Henderson said Monday that nothing has been finalized and the team’s preseason plans are not yet ready to be announced.

Clubs will resume training in the second week of January, with the MLS season expected to begin in late February. Henderson said he believes the team needs four to six preseason games, split between the United States and abroad.

The Florida club was scheduled to play two games in China earlier this month, but a trip that would have sold more than 100,000 tickets fell through due to logistical reasons.

Inter Miami did not tour internationally in its first three seasons. The arrival of Messi in the fourth year changed everything.

“I really feel like, overnight, we’ve become a global club,” Henderson explained on Monday. “The eyes of the world are on what we’re doing. And with that comes the pre-season journey and the opportunities that we have as a club, so we’re working closely with the front office as they negotiate some of these pre-season Pre-tournament trip.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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