Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi has revealed that he was lured by the prospect of joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.
Following the collapse of his Barcelona return attempt, Messi acknowledged considering the "highly competitive" Saudi league as an option, according to goal.com quoting Time magazine.
"I was debating between Saudi Arabia and Major League Soccer (MLS), and both seemed very enticing," he stated.
This revelation comes after Messi's high-profile departure from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and subsequent signing with Inter Miami in the summer, where he has already significantly boosted the league's popularity and prestige.
Since joining in July, Messi has contributed to Inter Miami's Leagues Cup title victory and has also played a role in attracting other former Barcelona players, such as Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, to join the David Beckham-owned team.
Messi's entry into the Saudi league would have presented fans with the tantalizing prospect of witnessing arguably the two greatest footballers of all time, Messi and Ronaldo (who signed with Al Nassr in December 2022 on a two-year contract), compete head-to-head.
Currently, the Inter Miami star is enjoying a rare break following the conclusion of the MLS season.
The team's first pre-season friendly is scheduled for January 19, 2024, against El Salvador.
By then, the Argentinian star might be joined by another former Barcelona teammate, Luis Suarez. Despite hints of retirement due to a nagging knee injury, Suarez is expected to reunite with Messi in Miami for a single season.