Argentine soccer icon Lionel Messi is reportedly set to make a much-anticipated return to Barcelona, with rumors suggesting he could face Cristiano Ronaldo in a star-studded anniversary match at the Camp Nou. Messi left Barcelona in 2021, leaving a void in the hearts of Barca fans and his return would be a landmark moment.
According to GOAL, Barca are planning a big tribute match to honor Messi and his contribution to the club. The proposed date for this “best ever tribute match” is November 29, 2024, which coincides with the 125th anniversary of Barcelona’s founding.
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona Legends XI, which is expected to feature in the match, consists of David Villa, Ronaldinho, Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Rivaldo), Romário, Luis Enrique and former Brazilian international Cristiano Ronaldo, among other legendary players. The Real Madrid legend is also on the invite list and high hopes are placed on Cristiano Ronaldo if his job with Saudi Pro League side Al Nasr allows it.
If the proposed lineup becomes a reality, it will be a true event for some of the greatest players in soccer history. The addition of Sergio Ramos, Zinedine Zidane, Gareth Bale and even David Beckham, Messi’s current partner at Inter Miami, would add even more star power to the game.
There is no doubt that Messi’s return to Barcelona will be a touching affair where he can show his gratitude to the club and its supporters while saying goodbye in a fitting way. The prospect of Messi facing off against Cristiano Ronaldo will only add to the appeal of this remarkable tribute match.