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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tom Victor

Cristiano Ronaldo set for awkward Al-Nassr reunion after Lionel Messi claim

Cristiano Ronaldo could be joined at Al-Nassr by Sergio Busquets, a man who previously suggested Lionel Messi stood on his own amid comparisons with the former Man Utd star.

Ronaldo, who left Manchester United by mutual agreement in November, is expected to move to Saudi Arabia on a mega-money deal. Al-Nassr's president claimed "most of what has been written and said in the media is a lie," but the club remain hopeful of pushing a deal through.

The 37-year-old isn't the only target for the Saudi side, who are also reportedly after Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos. Busquets could make it a trio of big signings, but there might be some awkwardness based on his previous comments.

Busquets has received a "dizzying" offer from Al-Nassr, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish international has spent his entire club career with Barcelona but is expected to leave Camp Nou when his contract expires at the end of the season.

There is a Barcelona connection at the club, with Goran Vucevic taking over as sporting director last season. Croatian international Vucevic joined Barca as a player during Johan Cruyff's time in charge, and later worked as a scout for the Catalan club.

Busquets and Messi won a number of trophies together at Camp Nou, including Champions League titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He was asked about his then-colleague ahead of the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony, when Messi and Ronaldo were both beaten to top honours by Luka Modric, and was full of praise for the Argentine.

What do you make of Al-Nassr's transfer targets? Have your say in the comments section

Sergio Busquets could join Ronaldo after playing with Messi (AFP/Getty Images)

"The best in the world now and for many years is Messi, who is the greatest and will continue to be until he retires," Busquets said at the time, per Fotmob. "Modric is spectacular, but Messi has no comparison with Luka or anyone."

In the years since Busquets' comments, Messi won the Ballon d'Or two more times in 2019 and 2021. He has also added a Copa America and World Cup to his list of honours, leading Argentina to glory in Qatar.

After the World Cup success, Messi has been given an extended break before returning to club duty with Paris Saint-Germain. However, any suggestions of bad blood with club colleague and World Cup rival Kylian Mbappe have been played down by PSG boss Christophe Galtier.

"What matters to me is the relationship between the players," Galtier said. "Kylian Mbappe had a very good attitude, despite losing. Of course, he was very disappointed, but he did that in a classy way. He congratulated Leo Messi and that is a very good thing for the club and for the team."

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