Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi hardly played when Inter Miami faced Al Nassr. Marco Bello/Reuters

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Riyadh Season Cup clash between Lionel Messi's Inter Miami and Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr. The match was heavily hyped as the "Last Dance" between the two superstars, but nothing of the sort happened. Ronaldo did not even suit up for Al Nassr due to an injury that has already kept him out of action for several weeks, and Messi only came in as a substitute for the final seven minutes.

Apart from the absence of both stars during the match, it was hardly competitive as Inter Miami were thrashed 6-0 by their Middle Eastern counterparts. Messi's arrival in the final seven minutes of the match did little to change the disappointing result for the Herons.

Al Nassr took the lead within the opening three minutes courtesy of Otavio, and former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte also contributed with a goal from a free-kick from his own half.

Brazilian Talisca scored an impressive hat-trick for the Saudi Pro League side, helping his team score three goals on either side of the half-time break. Mohammed Maran scored Al-Nassr's fifth goal with a header before Talisca completed the scoring with his third goal of the evening and Al Nassr's 6th.

Even without Ronaldo, the Saudi Pro League side thrashed the Major League Soccer (MLS) side. It will forever remain a mystery if the result would have been different if both Messi and Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes. Fans were disappointed when Ronaldo confirmed that he won't be fit to play after suffering a calf injury that also led to the cancellation of the club's tour of China last week.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was not able to suit up for Al Nassr due to injury. Fabrizio Romano/Twitter

The Riyadh Season Cup was surrounded by a lot of hype despite being just a friendly competition. What eventually happened did not meet expectations by a great distance, but Inter Miami midfielder Julian Gressel confirmed that his team would love to have a rematch with Al-Nassr.

The Herons, under manager Tata Martino, are currently on a pre-season tour. In contrast, Al Nassr are smack in the middle of their domestic campaign. Inter Miami have been out of competitive action for a couple of months now, while Al Nassr are battling to chase league leaders Al-Hilal, who are seven points ahead of them at the top of the table.

Gressel remained optimistic despite the heavy defeat, saying that the two teams are at different stages of preparedness at the moment. He said: "I don't think you can compare. We are very early on in the process, only in our third week together as a team after a long couple months off. So, you can't really compare. I think we would love to have a rematch at some point. That's the competitor in me, maybe in an official competition like a Club World Cup."

Inter Miami have been having a slow start to their pre-season tour, losing three of their four friendly games so far. Gressel added that things will likely be a lot better once they enter into actual competition. "Ultimately, when the time comes, when it counts for us, that's when we want to be at our best."

Despite his optimism, Gressel admitted that there is a lot to learn from the defeat. "Obviously not the result we wanted, but obviously, a lot of lessons to take. There's a lot for us to learn from, for us to grow. There's a ton of stuff we can look at on film, but it starts with us having a good start to the game. You can't be down 3-0 in 12 minutes into the game. Those are lessons you learn in pre-season."

Inter Miami quickly packed up after the loss against Al Nassr and were seen arriving in Hong Kong just hours later. They will hit the ground running as they are set to face a Hong Kong Select XI and Japanese club Vissel Kobe. The MLS season kicks off for the club on February 21 when they play against Real Salt Lake.