The rivalry still exists. Despite the fact that both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are no longer active at the highest levels, the debate among football fans continues. By way of statement, FC Barcelona Saudi fans in the Lion's Den – Al Awal Stadium where Al Nasr's Ronaldo plays – told us who is the best for them.
“Messi, Messi, Messi…” In just the 10th minute, in reference to the Argentine's famous shirt number, the Barcelona fans gathered in Riyadh began chanting. The score was still 0-0 in the match between Barcelona and Osasuna. Thanks to the 2-0 win, the Blaugrana will play the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday against Real Madrid, which in turn beat its rival Atletico (5-3) on Thursday.
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A year ago, Saudi fans had a lot of fun with Lionel Messi, when the country beat Argentina 1-2 in the opening match of the World Cup in Qatar. “Has anyone seen Messi?” It was said at the time. A wake-up call for the Albiceleste national team, which was crowned world champion with Messi as the absolute star of the tournament. But even then, the goat debate will never subside.
This is not the first time that Messi has resonated off the field. At the Camp Nou, the call of their legend has never faded, but Messi's name is also chanted at regular or irregular intervals in the Saudi Professional League. Especially by Ronaldo's opponents.
As did the fans of Al-Hilal, Al-Nasr’s competitor for the title, in the last confrontation. During halftime in the 3-0 win (after two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic), Ronaldo was jeered by the home fans as he left the field. After the Portuguese simulated a VAR debut followed by a cash gesture, he blew taunting kisses towards the bullying Al Hilal fans.
What will happen when Messi's Inter Miami faces Ronaldo's Al Nasr in a friendly match promoted as “The Last Dance”? Reply on February 1 in Riyadh.
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Ronaldo: “Anyone who admires Ronaldo does not have to hate Messi. Not the other way around.”
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