In a highly anticipated matchup that was supposed to showcase the footballing legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr from the Saudi Pro League delivered a stunning 6-0 defeat to MLS’s Inter Miami.
The much-anticipated clash took place in Riyadh, drawing global attention to what was expected to be the 37th encounter between Messi and Ronaldo. However, the spectacle took a twist as Cristiano Ronaldo did not even make it to the Al Nassr bench, nursing an injury that has been plaguing the Portuguese superstar since the week of January 22. Despite being in the final stages of his recovery, he was forced to sit out the game.
On the other hand, Lionel Messi, only saw a brief appearance on the field, entering the match as a substitute in the 83rd minute when Al Nassr had already secured a commanding 6-0 lead. According to Reuters, Messi had initially been in doubt for the game due to hamstring discomfort, but he opted to participate in the closing moments.
Anderson Talisca grabbed a hat-trick for Al Nassr
The game was supposed to be focused on Messi-Ronaldo but remarkably, the goals came from the Brazilian midfielder Anderson Talisca, who netted a hat-trick, Portuguese player Otvio, who opened the scoring in the 3rd minute, and contributions from Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte and Saudi player Mohammed Maran.
The Riyadh Season Cup turned out to be a platform for Al Nassr’s dominance, leaving football enthusiasts questioning what might have been with the absence of two of the sport’s greatest icons. As the football world eagerly awaits the recovery of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, fans hope that maybe another time we will get to see these two legends face off again-
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