Barcelona were lacklustre as they lost 3-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus side in the final Champions League group match.
Fans were robbed of the opportunity to see Cristiano Ronaldo line up to face Lionel Messi earlier in the season after the Portuguese superstar tested positive for coronavirus. Juventus clearly missed their talisman on the night as Barcelona recorded a famous win.
Both team would go on to win their following matches to ensure their place in the knockout stages.
But all eyes were quickly on the final group stage match between the two footballing giants to see Messi face off against Ronaldo once more.
It’s only the sixth time they legendary duo have played against each other in the Champions League.
Their encounters in La Liga when Ronaldo was at Real Madrid were titanic with the pair at the peak of their powers.
Both remain arguably the world’s best, but their approaching the twilight years with this potentially being the final time they meet on the world’s biggest stage.
For Messi though, he’ll be desperate to ensure this won’t be their final meeting.
The Argentine sensation has looked a shadow of his former self this season in a Barcelona side woefully under performing.
Barcelona only needed to avoid defeat by more than two goals to maintain their place at the top of the group but they lacked any motivation or creativity with Messi merely a passenger.
In contrast, Ronaldo looked hungry and determined to lead his side to victory.
The former Manchester United star scored twice from the spot with West McKennie also finding the net.
Messi showed flashes of his usual brilliance in the second half, but in truth there was no real threat from any of his team-mates.
The talk before the game was all about Messi vs Ronaldo but at Barcelona it looks as though the rivalry could well be dead as the Catalan side look all out of ideas.
Barcelona managed to hold on to Messi last summer, but they’re not showing any reasons for him to stay beyond 2021.
Europe’s biggest teams will be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to sign Messi and joining a new club capable of challenging at the very top could well see more intense matches between the two greatest footballers in the future.
That’s what fans want to see and it appears by Messi’s body language this season that he wants the same thing.