Ronaldo’s absence and Messi’s late cameo mark an unexpected turn of events in the highly anticipated showdown
In a surprising turn of events, the eagerly anticipated match dubbed “The Last Dance” between Al Nassr and Inter Miami took an unexpected twist as Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury and Lionel Messi’s limited involvement stole the spotlight on Thursday evening.
The clash, meant to showcase a potential final face-off between Al Nassr’s Ronaldo and Inter Miami’s Messi, faced a major setback as Ronaldo was ruled out due to injury just a day before the match. Despite hopes for his return, manager Luis Castro confirmed that Ronaldo is still in the final stages of recovery.
Al Nassr went on to dominate the game at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, securing a comprehensive 6-0 victory. Former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte even scored from inside his own half. Inter Miami, featuring Barcelona icons Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez, suffered a heavy defeat, with Brazilian playmaker Anderson Talisca netting a hat-trick.
Messi, dealing with discomfort from a recent injury, only entered the field in the final stages of the encounter, and by then, the match was already decided. The absence of both Ronaldo and Messi from the starting lineup drew attention, prompting a lighthearted comment from Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi’s General Authority of Entertainment. Alalshikh, who had hosted Messi earlier in the week, jokingly stated that Messi was hesitant to play without Ronaldo, fearing a loss against Al Nassr.
In jest, Alalshikh was seen holding up six fingers when Messi finally made his late entrance, highlighting the scoreline at that moment. The banter between the Saudi official and the reigning men’s Ballon d’Or added a humorous touch to the post-match narrative.
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