'Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may finish their careers at Inter Miami because of David Beckham’

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo share one of the greatest sporting rivalries of all time.

The pair have dominated football for more than a decade, winning 11 Ballon d’Or awards between them while pushing each other to break countless records.

Even though the Juventus and Barcelona superstars are no longer doing battle in La Liga, their rivalry on an individual level remains as intense as ever.

Messi edged ahead of Ronaldo when he was named the best player in the world for a sixth time in December, though there’s every chance the latter will see that they draw level again.

Despite the fierce competition between them, it’s always been tempting to imagine the two forwards someday playing alongside one another.

Considering both Messi and Ronaldo are now well into their 30s, the prospect of watching a Champions League campaign without them is getting closer to becoming reality.

Both forwards will be giving some thought to where they want to end their respective careers, which will surely be abroad rather than below the highest level in Europe.

The MLS is the most obvious potential destination, but given the slight age gap between Messi and Ronaldo, few would think they will end up there at the same time.

However, the imminent arrival of David Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise has changed the mind of Minnesota United boss Adrian Heath.

“I keep hearing there will be a blockbuster signing at some stage – and Ronaldo and Messi are the names I hear most,” the former Everton midfielder told the Mirror.

“That would be incredible for football in the USA and if anyone has the global profile to make that dream a reality then it has to be David Beckham.

“It may not happen just yet, but I can see Ronaldo following in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard playing in the MLS.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami.

“And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami.

“I believe the MLS has the potential to become one of the top Leagues in the world,” added Heath.

“In the past it’s been a place for top stars to wind down their careers, but I think that will change.

“The arrival of Beckham and Miami will help accelerate that switch in mentality.”

While Ronaldo appears well-suited to the glamour on offer at Inter Miami, luring Messi to the United States could be a different story.

Only a truly special opportunity would persuade the Argentine to wear the shirt of any club other than Barcelona’s; however, perhaps recent controversies could influence his future plans.

In any case, Beckham and Inter Miami probably represent the best chance of seeing Messi and Ronaldo on the same team.

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