Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi set to come to Manchester as Argentina name squad to face Portugal at Old Trafford next month

Argentina face Croatia at Upton Park on 12 November before tackling Ronaldo's Portugal on 15 November less than a month after the first El Clasico of the season

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The Independent Football

Just a month after the first El Clasico of the season, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could lock horns again in their never-ending battle to be the best player in the world.

But you won’t have to travel to Madrid to see to two collide, nor make your way to Barcelona, as the pair are bringing their unrivalled talent to Manchester when Portugal and Argentina face each other in an international friendly at Old Trafford.

75,731 fans will be able to flood into the home of Manchester United to watch the two nations do battle, and they’ll be delighted to know that Argentina coach and former Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has named Messi in his 24-man squad for the friendlies against Croatia at Upton Park on 12 November, and the Portuguese three days later.

Fernando Santos is yet to name his Portugal squad for the trip to the UK but Ronaldo is expected to feature, and having just gotten the better of Messi in Saturday’s 3-1 Real Madrid victory over their fierce Spanish rivals, he will hope to do the same at the stadium he used to call home.


Santos only took over the national team last month after Paulo Bento was sacked due to Portugal’s woeful start to their 2016 European Championships qualifying campaign, which saw them lose 1-0 to Albania and suffering a 2-1 defeat to France before finally gaining a win against Denmark.

As well as Ronaldo’s homecoming, United fans will also be able to see regular faces in the form of Marcus Rojo and Angel di Maria as the pair were named in the squad alongside Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Willy Caballero and Pablo Zabaleta of rivals Manchester City.

Real Madrid players Marcelo, Isco and Ronaldo celebrate as Messi looks dejected

Tottenham’s Erik Lamela and Federico Fazio have also been included in the squad, but one of the biggest talking points is the recall handed to former United striker Carlos Tevez after three years in the international wilderness.

Tevez, who controversially chose to move to City after United elected not to sign him, last played for his country in the 2011 Copa America and was one of the high-profile names left out of the recent World Cup. Not only will Tevez return to Old Trafford, but he will head back to his former stamping ground of Upton Park having saved West Ham from relegation in 2007.

The Hammers faithful will also get to see Javier Mascherano in action once again as the Barcelona defender has been named in the squad, along with other leading Argentinian names such as Javier Pastore and Gonzalo Higuain of Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli respectively.

Carlos Tevez in action for Juventus against Roma

Last time out Argentina romped home to a comfortable 7-0 win over minnows Hong Kong, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat of arch-nemesis Brazil just days before and they will hope to record victories over Croatia and Portugal to help forget their World Cup final heartache during the summer.