Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ‘nearly played against each other in a £90m mega-clash at Wembley in 2017 with both men picking their own team of superstars’… but the event collapsed because there was ‘too much politics involved’
- Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi almost took part in £90m mega-match
- Both were approached in 2014 and would pick their own team of superstars
- The match occur biannually, with both parties interested in the proposal
- The proposals ultimately collapsed due to the amount of ‘politics involved’
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi reportedly almost came ‘very close’ to squaring off in a biannual £90m all-star match at Wembley.
The Messi vs Ronaldo debate has raged for many years, with fans divided on who, out of the Barcelona legend or the Real Madrid icon, was the better player.
But according to a book, entitled ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ by Wall Street Wall Street Journal reporters Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, fans could have had that debate settled during what could have been football’s ‘last great frontier’.
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Lionel Messi (right) came close to a mega all-star match in 2017
Todd Boehly (pictured) had pitched the idea of a North vs South football match in England
Back in 2014, both players were approached by former dotcom millionaire Robert Bonnier to take part in the project and were reportedly interested in the idea.
Akin to Todd Boehly’s dream of an all-star north vs south football match in the Premier League, both players would hand pick a team of football superstars and square off in a biennial match at Wembley, starting in 2017.
The match would not just be a celebration of football’s best talents though, with organisers planning to turn the game into an entertainment spectacle, with music, laser shows and potentially even a boxing fight after the match.
The pair would also reportedly wear kits made by their respective sponsors, Nike for the Portuguese striker and Adidas for the Argentinian forward.
Boehly’s ideas to implement an all-star football match, akin to those in American sports, were met with both support and skepticism earlier this year.
But it seems that both Messi and Ronaldo were in fans of playing an all-star match, while Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, reportedly would only let his players star in the match for £21m.
The match was to take place on neutral ground at Wembley Stadium every two years
Ronaldo would pick one of the teams, made up of world all-stars
The proposals came ‘very close’ to becoming a reality but fell apart due to ‘football politics’
Ultimately, the plans did not come to fruition because there was ‘too much politics involved’ and a ‘large number of invested parties’.
But TV producer David Piper, who was hired to work on the coverage of the event, said: ‘An All-Star game is the last great frontier for football. We were very close.’
The epic rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo played out over several years, with both players going toe-to-toe on many occasions during El Clasico while playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
At the same time, both traded Ballon d’Or wins, with the PSG number 10 picking up seven in his career, while the Man United forward has claimed five.
The book also takes a deep dive into the careers of both and revealed that the Portuguese superstar nearly came close to signing for Everton in 2002, for just £2m, but instead joined Manchester United two years later.