Saudi official mocks Messi's absence from big match

Teasing Lionel Messi for not appearing in the anticipated match between Al Nassr and Inter Miami, a senior Saudi official humorously highlighted his absence. This game was eagerly awaited as it promised a potential final showdown in their professional careers between Cristiano Ronaldo and his longstanding adversary, Messi.

Publication: 02.02.2024 - 11:40
Saudi official mocks Messi's absence from big match
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The eagerly awaited match on Thursday night was set to showcase Ronaldo donning the Al Nassr jersey against Messi’s Inter Miami.

However, a day before the game, it was announced that Ronaldo would miss the match due to an injury.

While hopes were high for Ronaldo's participation, Al Nassr's coach, Luis Castro, later confirmed that the Portuguese legend was in the final stages of his recovery and would join the rest of the team soon.

Consequently, Ronaldo had to watch from the stands as Al Nassr clinched the victory, thanks to a long-range goal from former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte.

Inter Miami, featuring Barcelona icons Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez, suffered a 6-0 defeat after Brazilian midfielder Anderson Talisca scored a hat-trick by halftime.

Notably, they played 83 minutes without Messi, who was also sidelined due to a recent injury. Rumors had swirled that only a contract obligation could have brought him onto the field.

The outcome seemed inevitable long before the final whistle.

Following the game, a senior Saudi official couldn't resist teasing about the Ballon d'Or-winning player's absence at the start of the match.

Turki Alalshikh, President of the Saudi Entertainment Authority and a ministerial advisor at the Royal Court, quipped to beIN Sports, "I heard Messi wouldn't play. [He probably] saw Ronaldo was out and got scared of losing to Al Nassr without Ronaldo."

When Messi did make his appearance, the official was seen raising six fingers in the air, mirroring the scoreline of 6-0 at that moment. 

Alalshikh's comments about Messi were clearly in jest.

After all, the two had met in Saudi Arabia before the Al Nassr match, where Messi was named a global ambassador for Saudi tourism.

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