Messi Makes Surprise Ronaldo Admission Ahead of Juventus Tie

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo


Lionel Messi says he is hoping long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo can feature for Juventus against Barcelona on Wednesday in the group stages of the Champions League.

Ronaldo is a doubt for the match after testing positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Portugal. The Juventus forward has since tested positive again and will miss the match, according to Miguel Angel Garcia at Marca.

There’s no doubt that the loss of Ronaldo for such a big game would be a huge blow for Juventus. Indeed you might even think that Ronaldo’s absence would suit Messi and Barcelona, but it seems the Argentine would prefer to see the former Real Madrid man out on the pitch.

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Messi Wants to Face Ronaldo

Messi spoke to DAZN, as reported by Metro, about his rivalry with Ronaldo and how he hopes he will be able to come up against the 35-year-old in Turin on Wednesday.

Obviously when Cristiano played for Real Madrid the games were special. 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.

Messi also spoke about what it was like to take on Ronaldo during his years with Real Madrid. The forward spent almost a decade with Los Blancos before joining Juventus in the summer of 2018.

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].

Barcelona and Messi are actually due to take on Real Madrid again on Saturday in La Liga and will then turn their attention back to the Champions League and Juventus. The Catalan giants won their opening group fixture 5-1 against Ferencvaros, while Juve beat Dynamo Kiev 2-0.

Doubts Over Juventus Duo

Ronaldo is not the only player that Juventus has doubts over ahead of the match. Captain Giorgio Chiellini went off injured in the win over Dynamo Kiev and is a doubt for the game.

The center-back’s injury is not thought to be serious but “his condition will be evaluated on a daily basis and he is expected to be out for 7-10 days,” according to Football Italia.

Manager Andrea Pirlo has also said that forward Paulo Dybala is still not not quite in peak condition. He told Sky Sport Italia, as reported by Goal, after the win over Kiev that the forward “wasn’t 100 per cent” and “needs minutes” to be able to return to peak fitness.

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