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Inter Miami deny involvement in Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo 'Last Dance' match

Rory O'Callaghan

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Inter Miami deny involvement in Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo 'Last Dance' match

There is confusion over whether Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will renew their rivalry next year in a match billed as 'The Last Dance'.

The two greatest players of their generation have gone head-to-head for the best part of two decades, winning numerous major honours - including a collective 13 Ballon d'Ors.

Their rivalry was put on hold when Ronaldo, 38, left European football to join Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in January.

Messi, 36, followed the Portuguese out of Europe in the summer, joining MLS side Inter Miami.

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On Tuesday, fans were given hope on that the pair would face each other again, in Saudi Arabia next year.

Riyadh Season Cup organisers announced that a friendly between Al Nassr and Inter Miami, promoted on social media as 'The Last Dance' between Messi and Ronaldo, would feature as part of the tournament in February.

However, Inter Miami have since issued a statement denying any involvement in the competition.

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"Earlier today, an announcement was issued stating that Inter Miami CF is scheduled to play in the Riyadh Season Cup. This is inaccurate," the statement read. "The release included statements attributed to team owner Jorge Mas. Mas has made no comments, publicly or privately, in relation to the preseason tour.

"Since day one, Inter Miami CF has set out to be a global brand. To this end, we have been in conversations to determine our 2024 preseason schedule. We look forward to showcasing our players on Inter Miami CF's first international tour which will be announced in the coming weeks."

Inter Miami's statement comes as a blow to fans keen to see Messi and Ronaldo renew their rivalry on the pitch.

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Messi strengthened his claim to be the greatest player in history when he won his eighth Ballon d’Or last month, winning the prize ahead of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

He is now three ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is second on the all-time list with five wins.

Ronaldo attracted criticism following Messi's latest win after appearing the mock the Argentine's victory on social media.

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"The Saudi league is better than the MLS," Ronaldo said in July.

"I'm 100 per cent sure I won't return to any European club. They criticised me for coming to Saudi league, but what happened now? I opened the way to the Saudi league and now all the players are coming here.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Football, Al Nassr, Inter Miami, MLS, Saudi Pro League

Rory O'Callaghan
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