Al Nassr coach: Ronaldo to miss Messi showdown

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Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Al Nassr’s friendly with long-term rival Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami on Thursday with a calf injury, the Saudi club’s coach announced Wednesday.

“Cristiano is in the final part of his recovery to join the group,” Luís Castro said in a Wednesday news conference.

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“We expect that he can begin to work with the team in the next few days. He will be an element that will be absent from the game.”

The game, set to be hosted at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, had been billed as the final club meeting of the two stars who dominated European football for a decade, most notably during their concurrent spells with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Messi and Inter Miami were beaten 4-3 by Saudi Pro League leaders Al Hilal on Monday. Al Nassr are seven points behind Al Hilal in second place, and they haven’t played since Dec. 30 owing to the SPL’s break and the country hosting the Asian Cup.

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