Rivaldo believes the stage is set for another fascinating chapter in the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry, with each man out to prove a point in the Champions League.
The football world was left in a state of shock earlier this week when the unthinkable happened as Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus were drawn in Group G for the 2020/21 Champions League.
It’s the first time the pair have ever come across one another in the early stages of the competition. They faced each other five times previously in the semi-finals (4x) and the final itself (1x), but never before the last four.
The first meeting between Messi and Ronaldo will take place on October 28 in Turin. A return fixture will follow at Camp Nou on December 8. It will be the first time since Cristiano left Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 that they’ll go head-to-head.
And, in the opinion of Rivaldo, the tie will provide Messi the chance to end allegations that his level has dropped since his great rival left La Liga.
“Barcelona and Juventus were drawn in the same Champions League group and it will be great to see Lionel Messi play against Cristiano Ronaldo again,” The ex-Blaugrana star told Betfair.
“It will light up the competition as the entire world will want to watch their matches. With Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros completing the group, Juve and Barca should easily qualify and battle for the first place.
“Some people have said Messi dropped his performance level a little bit after Ronaldo’s departure from Spain, so this is an excellent chance for both players to be at their best when they face each other.
“It was always a healthy duel between them, which motivated the players, so it will be great to see this positive rivalry renewed for at least 180 minutes.”