File picture of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It's been confirmed that Lionel Messi's Inter Miami will play against Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr, a match being dubbed "The Last Dance" as it will likely be the last time the two soccer superstars play against each other at a professional level.

Prior to the latest announcement, there was speculation that Messi would go out on loan to a team in the Saudi Pro League in order to stay fit after Inter Miami was knocked out of the MLS playoffs. However, with the friendly against Al Nassr, Messi will return to the pitch sooner than expected.

The match will take place in February 2024 and will be played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi team Al-Hilal will also be part of the organization as well, playing against both of the aforementioned teams.

"Riyadh Season and Inter Miami CF have agreed to hold Riyadh Season Cup matches as part of Riyadh Season activities. In a tournament that brings together the two Saudi clubs, Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr and Inter Miami CF, the matches will be played in a league system format. The date and schedule will be announced at a later date," said the organization about the event.

For years, the rivalry between Messi, now 36, and Ronaldo, 38, dominated the soccer world. Between 2009 and 2018, the Argentine and Portuguese superstars played in the Spanish league La Liga for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, regularly competing at the local and continental level.

According to ESPN, Messi and Ronaldo have faced off 36 times in their careers, with the Argentine currently leading the head-to-head with 16 wins. The Portuguese start has 11 wins and the remaining nine matches have been ties.

The last match featuring the two took place in January, resulting in a 5-4 win for Messi's former club, Paris Saint Germain, against Al-Nassr. Since that match, Messi moved to the U.S. and signed for Inter Miami, the MLS team partly owned by former soccer player David Beckham.

Both players are also considered all-time greats in soccer and split the Ballon d'Or, the most prestigious award in soccer, for the better part of a decade. Currently, Messi has the most Ballon d'Or awards after securing his eighth trophy back in October. Ronaldo has the second most Ballon d'Or trophies with five to his name.

According to Goal, besides the friendly scheduled early next year, Ronaldo's Al Nassr will also play against Al-Hilal, the current team of Brazilian star Neymar, who was Messi's teammate in Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.