Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is reportedly desperate to line up against Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo when the two clubs do battle in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Barca and Juve have already qualified for the last 16 and the midweek clash is nothing more than a dead rubber, and Ronald Koeman would normally be expected to rest Messi for this tie.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has not featured in La Blaugrana’s recent wins over Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros, but Messi did not get the chance to play against Ronaldo earlier this year due to the Portuguese’s positive coronavirus test.
According to the Daily Mail, Koeman is prepared to relent and will start Messi against the Old Lady, in which he could find himself coming up against Ronaldo for the very last time.
The two attackers have battled for supremacy over the past decade but are now entering the latter stages of their careers, with Ronaldo now 35 and Messi – who is still expected to leave Barcelona next summer – two years younger than his rival at 33.
The last time that Messi and Ronaldo lined up against each other was in El Clasico in May 2018, during which both players netted in a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.