Lionel Messi and Saudi Arabia loan decision explained as Cristiano Ronaldo reunion touted
Lionel Messi‘s holiday plans may have thrown cold water on speculation linking the superstar with a temporary reunion with old arch nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia this winter.
After admitting defeat in their quest to land the World Cup winner earlier this year, Inter Miami’s failure to qualify for the MLS playoffs potentially opened up another opportunity for Saudi Arabian clubs. With the Herons now absentees from this year’s post-season, Messi is now facing the longest layoff of his club career.
Even if he is to play in Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers in November, the 36-year-old is set to face 95 days without a competitive game before MLS resumes. As a result, Saudi Pro League’s ambitious officials were weighing up a six-month loan proposal for the superstar, according to Marca.
However, it has now been widely reported any suggestions that Messi would make a temporary switch this winter have been put to bed. Instead, he contends that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is planning a one-month holiday, with a loan move not on the cards.
Of course, a loan switch of that kind has not been uncommon when it comes to MLS superstars in the past. In fact, Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham was one high-profile beneficiary of the rule after twice moving temporarily to AC Milan during his LA Galaxy days.
Fellow household names who have gone out on loan during the interim period between MLS seasons have been Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane. In the case of Beckham, however, his temporary moves to Italy in 2009 and 2010 did not come without significant controversy.