Cristiano Ronaldo injury update: will he play for Al Nassr against Inter Miami and Lionel Messi?

The main attraction of the Riyadh Season Cup is the meeting between Al Nassr and Inter Miami, which could see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi go face to face one more time in a much-anticipated ‘Last Dance’. There is no certainty, however, the former Real Madrid star will be fit to play, although the signs are he is doing everything possible to make sure he is able to take to the field.

On Friday, Al Nassr returned to Saudi Arabia following the cancellation of two friendly matches they were due to play in China but which have been postponed to a later date precisely due to the calf injury Ronaldo is carrying.

But Al Nassr and the player himself are desperate for him to play against The Herons on Thursday 1 February, fully aware of the exposure they will gain from welcoming Messi to Saudi Arabia.

Reports suggest Ronaldo training return imminent

Ronaldo seems to be in good spirits, in any case, if Al Nassr’s recent social media activity is anything to go by. The Portugal captain has been the focus of a number of photos and videos upon the club’s return to Riyadh, which some believe suggests increases his chances of playing against Inter Miami, although nothing has been confirmed either way.

Perhaps more telling are reports from a number of Arab media outlets, including Arabic Sports, claiming the 38-year-old will return to training in the next few days with a view to lining up against the MLS team on Thursday.

Inter Miami may rest Messi and Suárez ahead of Ronaldo meeting

Inter Miami have only two days of rest between the games against Al Hilal on 29 January and Al Nassr on 1 February, which means head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino will likely rotate his roster heavily. That means Messi, Luis Suaréz, Jordi Albi and Sergio Busquets, along with other starting players, will almost certainly have limited game time.

The most likely scenario would see The Herons’ biggest stars rested for the first game with Al Hilal, allowing them to have more game time against Al Nassr, especially if Ronaldo is ultimately deemed fit to play.

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