Lionel Messi available for loan – with Saudi Arabia ready to reignite rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo: report

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo endured a decade-long rivalry in Spain - and could be set to compete against each other in the Middle East


Posted Thursday, October 12, 2023 by fourfourtwo.com

Lionel Messi available for loan – with Saudi Arabia ready to reignite rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo: report

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could reunite their rivalry in the Saudi Pro League in the coming months, with the Argentine reportedly being lined up for an imminent loan move.

With Inter Miami failing to reach the MLS playoffs, their last game of the season will finish on October 21 against Charlotte. Messi, therefore, won't be playing for the Florida-based outfit until the end of February, when the 2024 campaign kicks off.

As a result, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) are reportedly working on a deal to bring Messi to the Middle East on a temporary basis.

According to Sky Sports' Rudy Galetti, the deal would ensure Messi doesn't miss a minute of football with Inter Miami, and would be a move akin to David Beckham's short forays at AC Milan and PSG a decade ago while playing for LA Galaxy.

Prior to joining Inter Miami in the summer, Messi had three options available to him: re-sign for Barcelona, move to MLS, or take up a lucrative offer from Al-Hilal.

Obviously, he ended up opting for Miami, but that hasn't stopped Saudi Arabia from continuing their interest in bringing the 36-year-old to the country - even if it's just for a brief period.

Messi pitching up in the Saudi Pro League would also see him lock horns once again with Cristiano Ronaldo, as part of a rivalry that lasted for more than a decade during their times playing against each other for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.

Ronaldo has already bagged 10 goals in eight matches this season for Al-Nassr, too, and is showing no signs of letting up as he targets playing in the 2026 World Cup for Portugal - at the grand old age of 41.



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