Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo now plays for Saudi club Nassr AFP / Fayez NURELDINE

In what would be disappointing news for football fans, Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered an injury and could miss Al Nassr's upcoming friendly fixture against Lionel Messi's Inter Miami.

Ronaldo has reportedly suffered a calf injury and could need at least two weeks for treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. A private source claimed that Al-Nassr's medical team recently informed club manager Luis Castro of Ronaldo's injury, according to local media reports.

It is understood that Ronaldo initially had mild muscle discomfort while training with his Al Nassr teammates. Even though he continued to practice, some discomfort forced him to end the session early. The former Real Madrid superstar then visited the club's medical clinic.

Ronaldo is currently undergoing treatment sessions, along with light exercises in the fitness hall.

Ronaldo is expected to miss Al-Nassr's upcoming friendlies against Shanghai Shenhua (Jan. 24) and Zhejiang (Jan. 28). However, if the 38-year-old forward does not recover in time, he could also miss the much-awaited friendly game between Al Nassr and Messi's Inter Miami at the Kingdom Arena on Feb.1.

The upcoming game between Al Nassr and Inter Miami, termed as the "last dance" for Messi and Ronaldo is a part of the Riyadh Cup 2024, which will also mark Inter Miami's first international tour.

The Riyadh Cup will see three teams competing, two of which will be Ronaldo's Al Nassr and Messi's Inter Miami. They will be joined by Neymar's Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal, although the Brazilian forward will miss a reunion with old teammate and close friend Messi due to his long-term injury.

Inter Miami roped in Messi on a free transfer in the summer of 2023 and clinched their first-ever trophy by winning the Leagues Cup within weeks of his arrival in the US. The MLS outfit are due to face Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Hilal at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on Jan. 29. They will then take on Al-Nassr at the same venue on Feb. 1.

Apart from Ronaldo, the other top players who could feature for the two Saudi sides include Milinkovic-Savic, Ruben Neves, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mane and Aymeric Laporte.

On the other hand, Inter Miami also boost big names apart from Messi such as former FC Barcelona stars Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

The last time Messi and Ronaldo, who have 13 Ballons d'Or between them, met was at this same juncture in 2022. Back then, Messi was playing for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and the Parisian side had agreed to participate in the Riyadh Season Cup. PSG faced both Al Nassr and Al Hilal, with the Ligue 1 side beating Ronaldo's side 5-4.