On August 8, Barcelona will face Juventus in the Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou, in what may be a potential match-up between the world’s best; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to sources, due to budgetary constraints, Barcelona is trying to find a place for Messi to be registered in time for the start of the season.
Messi, on the other hand, is likely to sign a new five-year contract at Camp Nou after his current contract ended last month. There were initial rumours that Messi would join Manchester City but Betway EPL soccer betting fans do not expect that deal to come to fruition.
Messi’s £500,000-a-week contract has expired, making him a free agent and no longer on the club’s books.
To remain at the cash-strapped club, the club captain is allegedly prepared to take a ‘significant’ pay cut, estimated to be about 50% of his previous salary.
Regarding the Messi situation, Barca president Joan Laporta recently stated, “The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations.”
Ronaldo’s future at Juventus is also uncertain, as the striker is due to become a free agent next summer. According to ESPN, his representatives are gauging interest from some of Europe’s best teams, including both of his former employers Real Madrid and Manchester United. Betway and other bookmakers will be keen to see where he ends up.
Ronaldo vs Messi in the UEFA Champions League 2020/2021
The possibility of a Messi-Ronaldo clash will not be the only attraction on the day; for the first time ever, Barca Women will play at the Gamper.
Last season, Barcelona won a historic Treble, including a thumping of Chelsea in the Champions League final, and will face Juventus only hours before Ronald Koeman’s side takes on the Bianconeri.
After winning the Euro 2020 Golden Boot this summer after scoring five goals and setting up one more, Ronaldo will have no shortage of admirers.
Meanwhile, Messi and Argentina have just won the Copa America after defeating hosts Brazil in the final at the Maracana.
The 34-year-old was awarded Player of the Tournament after winning his country’s first major international trophy.
The two superstars have a combined total of 11 Ballon d’Or awards and met in the Champions League group stage last season.
Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot as Juventus triumphed 3-0 at Camp Nou on Dec. 12 after missing his team’s 2-0 loss at home to Barcelona on Oct. 20 due to a positive COVID-19 test.
With an anticipated attendance of 19,869, the event will signal the return of football fans to Camp Nou, which is only allowed to have a maximum capacity of 20% owing to the pandemic.
The Gamper Trophy is a pre-season friendly match conducted in August before Barca’s season begins.
The last time Barcelona played Juventus in the Gamper was in 2005, when an 18-year-old Messi put on a show, only to see Juventus win the cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
During the game, then-Juventus manager Fabio Capello was so pleased that he sought to approve a loan deal for Messi, but Barca coach Frank Rijkaard laughed it off.
Messi is the Betway favourite to win the coveted Ballon d’Or for a record seventh time.