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Ronaldo to miss reunion with Messi after being ruled out of Al-Nassr's friendly with Inter Miami

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the chance of a much anticipated reunion with Lionel Messi because of an injury, Al-Nassr coach Luis Castro said Wednesday.

Ronaldo is recovering from a reported calf injury and will not be fit in time to play in the exhibition match between Al-Nassr and Inter Miami in Riyadh on Thursday.

“Cristiano is in the final stage of his recuperation before re-joining the team. We expect that in the next few days he will start working with the team. So, obviously, it will mean he is absent for the game (against Inter Miami),” Castro said at a news conference.

Messi and Ronaldo were longtime rivals when they played in Spain — for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively — and have combined to win 13 of the last 15 Ballon d'Or awards given to the world's best player.

The latest installment of that rivalry was seen as the highlight of Miami's pre-season tour, which included two games in Saudi Arabia.

But that was put in doubt when Ronaldo suffered an injury that prompted Al-Nassr to postpone two exhibition matches in China this month.

Messi scored in Miami's 4-3 defeat to Al-Hilal on Monday.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer