It’s been a personal and collective rivalry for the ages, the likes of which we’d not seen before and will probably never see again.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the footballing landscape over the last decade and a half, but with both getting closer to bringing the curtain down on their respective careers, the chances of seeing them renew their battle again will be few and far between.
Although the Portuguese has tested positive for coronavirus for a second time, there is an outside chance he could still make the Juventus team for their game against Barcelona next week.
Messi for his part, has enjoyed standing toe to toe with his nemesis, and hopes for at least one more chance to tango with him.
“Obviously when Cristiano played for Real Madrid the games were special,” he said to DAZN, cited by the Daily Star.
“Matches against them always are [special], but with Cristiano on the pitch they took on a particular significance. That is now in the past and we look forward to today’s challenges.
“Wednesday there could be this challenge and we hope Cristiano can be there and will soon recover from Covid.
“The ones with Cristiano were and are a special duel which will remain forever. They last many years and it is not easy to maintain those levels for such a long time.
“Our teams were also very demanding: Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two strongest clubs in the world.
“Competing as equals for so many years is something that will remain forever. The duel between me and Cristiano was very good on a personal level and I think people enjoyed it.
“The fans of Real, Barca, but in general all football fans, have seen a great show. We hope to give them even more emotions [on Wednesday].”
Ronaldo will be given until the last minute to see if he’s able to lead the line for the bianconeri, and we can be assured that Messi will be lying in wait.
Both are integral to their respective clubs, and Ronaldo’s potential absence could harm the Italian club’s chances.