Inter Miami has officially disclosed details of two upcoming friendly matches set to take place in Saudi Arabia next year, featuring a highly anticipated showdown between Lionel Messi and long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo. The Major League Soccer (MLS) club had previously revealed plans to face Ronaldo's Al Nassr in Riyadh, with the date left unspecified.
The team is scheduled to play against Saudi football powerhouses Al Hilal at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on January 29, followed by a match against Al Nassr at the same venue on February 1. This arrangement offers Messi and Ronaldo another opportunity to renew their footballing rivalry, which has spanned over a decade since their first encounter in 2008.
Chris Henderson, Miami's chief soccer officer and sporting director, emphasized the significance of these matches as crucial tests for their team, providing valuable preparation as they approach the upcoming season. The friendlies in Saudi Arabia are expected to be integral to Inter Miami's preseason training, offering competitive challenges against top-tier opposition.
Following the fixtures in Saudi Arabia, Inter Miami is set to travel to Hong Kong for another friendly match on February 4, facing a team comprised of players from the Chinese territory's First Division.
The Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong friendlies are strategically positioned to enhance Inter Miami's readiness for the Major League Soccer season, which is set to kick off in the United States later in February.
The team's engagement in these international matches against strong opponents, including encounters with global football icons Messi and Ronaldo, reflects their commitment to rigorous preseason preparations and the pursuit of excellence in the upcoming MLS campaign.