Messi-Ronaldo Riyadh rendezvous dates



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Inter Miami coming to Riyadh Image: Inter Miami

The Major League Soccer (MLS) team Inter Miami CF (US) announced recently that it will travel to Saudi Arabia during the 2024 preseason to participate in the Riyadh Season Cup as part of the club’s first-ever international tour. The team will play two matches in the country in a round-robin tournament format, taking on Saudi powerhouses Al-Hilal SFC and Al-Nassr FC.

‘intermiamicf.com’ quoted Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami CF Chief Business Officer, as stating, “This is another major opportunity to create lasting relationships in Saudi Arabia and also hope people all over the world will be tuning in to see a pair of dream matches like these.”

The Inter Miami CF or Inter Miami is an American professional soccer club based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (US). Established in 2018, the club began playing in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS) during the 2020 season.

The DRV PNK Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (US). Built on the site of the former 17,417-capacity Lockhart Stadium, the 21,000-seat facility is the home pitch of the Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer (MLS) and its MLS Next Pro reserve side Inter Miami CF II.

The Riyadh Season is an annual State-funded entertainment and sports festival started as part of 11 entertainment festivals carried by Saudi Seasons initiative that was launched in 2019. The Riyadh Season starts from October and ends towards March during Winter and Spring at the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. In 2022, the Riyadh Season attracted more than five million visitors within the first two months of its third edition. As of 2023, the Riyadh Season has 10 Guinness World Records certifications.

The Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club, simply known as Al-Hilal, is a professional multisports club based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Their football team competes in the Saudi Pro League, the highest division of football in the Saudi football league system. The club’s name means Crescent moon. They are the most decorated club in Asia winning 66 official trophies. The 58,398-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh serves as their home ground.

The Al-Nassr Football Club is a Saudi Arabian professional football club based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Formed on October 24th, 1955, the club plays its home games at the 25,000-capacity Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh. Their home colors are yellow and blue. The Al-Nassr is one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia with 28 official trophies.

The 12th edition of Coliseum Summit MENA will be held on February 5th, 2024 at the Al-Awwal Park, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Commented Chris Henderson, Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director, “These matches will offer important tests for our team, which will benefit us as we approach the new season. We’re excited for our group to get the chance to go up against teams with as much quality as Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.”

‘intermiamicf.com’ further stated that Inter Miami will first take on Al-Hilal at the 26,000-capacity Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on January 29th at 1 pm ET (9 pm Saudi Arabia Standard Time). The Saudi side is the most decorated in the history of Asia with 66 titles to its name and currently sits atop the table in league play. The team is coached by the former Sporting CP (Portuguese sports club) player and Manager Jorge Jesus and boasts star players such as Neymar (who is unavailable through injury), Sergej Milinković-Savić (Serbian footballer), Rúben Neves (Portuguese footballer), Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbian footballer), Kalidou Koulibaly, and Malcom Oliveira (Brazilian footballer).

Then, on February 1st, the team will face Al-Nassr at the Kingdom Arena at 1 pm ET (9 pm Saudi Arabia Standard Time). The match will pit Inter Miami star Lionel Messi against a familiar opponent in Cristiano Ronaldo, who stars for Al-Nassr and is the Saudi Pro League’s leading goal scorer this season. The team, coached by the Portuguese Manager Luís Castro, currently sits second in the table behind Al-Hilal and also features other stars like Sadio Mané (Senegalese footballer) and Aymeric Laporte.

Messi and Ronaldo have faced each other 35 times in their careers, with Messi claiming 16 wins to 10 by Ronaldo and nine draws between them. In those matches, Messi has tallied 21 goals and 12 assists, while Ronaldo has registered 20 goals and one assist.

Tickets for the matches can be reserved through the WeBook application here.

Further information on the matches, including broadcast details, will be announced at a later date. Additional 2024 preseason matches and destinations will be announced in the coming weeks. The club has already announced a match against the El Salvador national team in January as well as another leg of the international tour with a match in Hong Kong against the Hong Kong team.

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