Lionel Messi’s true feelings on playing with Cristiano Ronaldo emerge ahead of Saudi meet

Lionel Messi's Inter Miami will take on Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr early next month
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami will take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr early next month (Image: Getty Images)

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will face off once again later this month, potentially for the last time in what has been an remarkable rivarly spanning decades.

The pair have 13 Ballon d’Or awards between them, with Messi edging it eight to Ronaldo’s five. The bulk of those were won while Messi was lighting up La Liga with Barcelona, while his counterpart was doing the same with arch rivals Real Madrid, though his first came while at Manchester United in 2008.

For years, football fans have dreamed of seeing the two superstars line up on the same side. It’s not just supporters that would be delighted to witness Messi and Ronaldo lead the attack for a club side, the ex-Barcelona icon once confessed he too would love to share a dressing room with the Portugal captain one day.

“Yes, of course,” he said when pressed for comment on the subject back in 2015. “I always like to play with the best, and he is one of them.

“I think it will be difficult for us to play in the same team, but obviously I would like to. I was lucky enough to play and participate with many very good players and, obviously, I would also like to do it with him.”

During Messi’s time at Paris Saint-Germain, Ronaldo conducted an explosive interview with Piers Morgan while still a Manchester United player and speculation suggesting the two could at long last link up in the French capital was rife. However, the former Red-Devil opted to join Saudi side Al-Nassr, while Messi ended up at Inter Miami after PSG.

Though Messi is currently on the East coast, while Ronaldo is firing goals in for fun in the Middle East, the two are expected to soon share a pitch again. Thursday, Feburary 1 will see Al-Nassr host Inter Miami as part of the Riyadh Super Cup.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo last met when Paris Saint-Germain took on Al-Nassr last January
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo last met when Paris Saint-Germain took on Al-Nassr last January

This time last year Messi and Ronaldo faced each other while the former was still at PSG. On that occasion, the Ligue 1 champions took on a Riyadh All-Star XI which of course contained Ronaldo.

The French titans got the better of Al-Nassr on that occasion, though fans of both sides were treated to a thriller that saw PSG run out 5-4 winners, with both Messi and Ronaldo getting on the scoresheet, the latter bagging twice.

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