Argentina, Portugal set up potential Messi-Ronaldo clash

La Liga rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo look set to meet in an Argentina-Portugal friendly.

FILE: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match Villarreal CF vs Real Madrid CF. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - La Liga rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo look set to meet in an Argentina-Portugal friendly at the Old Trafford next month, in a match which could also mark Carlos Tevez's international return.

The teams would meet in Manchester on the FIFA-designated international date of 18 November, the Argentine FA has confirmed on its website (

It would be a second return to Old Trafford for former Manchester United winger Ronaldo since he left for Real Madrid in 2009.

He was back there in March last year for a Champions league second round tie in which he scored the winner and United fans and manager Louis van Gaal have said they would one day like to see him make a permanent return.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino suggested on Saturday that former United striker Tevez, overlooked for three years by his country, was in line for an international comeback in view of his Juventus club form.

"Tevez's absence raises eyebrows today as it did against Germany (last month) and the two or three years when Alejandro was there (in charge)," Martino said referring to World Cup coach Sabella.

"The national team doors are open to all (players) and he (Tevez) is one of them. If he carries on in this form his recall will probably end up being a question of time," he told a news conference.

Martino, who said the decision was down to him and not media pressure, was speaking before leaving for China, where Argentina meet arch-rivals Brazil in a friendly on 11 October.

He said he was glad to see Messi back for the match after injury kept him out of the 4-2 win over Germany in Duesseldorf on 30 September in a friendly against the team that beat Argentina in the World Cup final in Brazil in July.

"Our expectations are the best. The match with Brazil, is important and Messi's return good news," Martino said.

"This is among the most attractive 'clasicos' of world football."

Argentina, who also meet Hong Kong on 14 October on their Asian tour, were trying to set up another friendly in Europe in November, the AFA said.