Cristiano Ronaldo faces awkward Lionel Messi reunion after brutal dig at MLS and Inter Miami
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Cristiano Ronaldo could face an awkward reunion with Lionel Messi after he made a dig at his long-time rival.
They could meet again on Thursday when Ronaldo's Al-Nassr and Messi's Inter Miami meet in a friendly, although there are doubts regarding the fitness of the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star.
Last week Al-Nassr postponed two friendly matches in China after Ronaldo was ruled out through injury.
If Ronaldo plays, then his comments about Messi could make for a rather frosty reunion.
Last summer Ronaldo took a dig at MLS, just days after Messi signed for Inter Miami following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.
When the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was asked by reporters what the future holds for him, Ronaldo suggested that Messi took the easy option in heading for the United States
"Returning to Europe, for me, is a closed possibility, I'm already 38-and-a-half years old and... it's not worth it. Europe lost a lot of quality," he said.
"The only one that is one of the best is the Premier League, the Spanish league lost its level, the Portuguese one is not 'top,' the German one also lost a lot of quality. The USA? No, the Saudi championship is much better than the USA.
"In one year, more and more top players will come to Saudi. In a year the Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league."
However, Ronaldo's recent admission that the Saudi Pro League has "bad habits" suggests his prediction was a little premature.
Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson lasted just six months at Al-Ettifaq before returning to Europe to join Ajax, while several other European stars are said to be unhappy with the quality of the league and facilities.
Ronaldo won the Arab Club Champions Cup with Al-Nassr in 2023, while Messi and Inter Miami won the inaugural Leagues Cup just weeks after he arrived in Florida.