Lionel Messi made a late appearance as a substitute in the 83rd minute, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Inter Miami from facing a crushing 6-0 defeat against Al-Nassr in Riyadh. Cristiano Ronaldo was absent from the Al-Nassr team due to injury.
The match, anticipated as a potential last meeting between the iconic Ballon d’Or winners on the field, was part of a friendly tournament that also featured Al-Hilal, led by Brazilian Neymar and currently topping the Saudi Pro League.
Messi, dealing with a hamstring issue, began the game on the bench, while Ronaldo, sidelined with a muscle injury, left fans disappointed who had hoped to witness a clash between the two football legends. Inter Miami, with former Barcelona players Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets in their lineup, found themselves trailing 3-0 within the first 12 minutes and failed to mount a comeback.
In a previous match against Al-Hilal on Monday, the 36-year-old Messi played despite his injury, scoring a penalty in the 54th minute before being substituted two minutes before the end as Inter suffered a 4-3 loss. Al-Nassr had to cancel their planned two-game tour in China the previous week due to the absence of the 38-year-old Ronaldo.