Messi and Ronaldo’s most memorable clashes: From the Champions League to El Clasico

Editors’ observe: This text has been up to date because it was first revealed on April 24, 2020

It has been some time — 947 days, to be precise — however Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are all set to face off as soon as once more as Barcelona host to Juventus of their Champions League Group G nearer on Tuesday.

The long-awaited reunion may have come again in October, however Ronaldo missed that match in Turin after contracting COVID-19 whereas away on worldwide responsibility. Messi scored the second purpose in a 2-0 win for Barca with a late penalty.

Soar to: Head-to head record | Most memorable clashes

As such, this would be the first time that Messi and Ronaldo have come up in opposition to one another because the latter left La Liga rivals Real Madrid to hitch Juve in 2018.

Ronaldo has represented three completely different golf equipment over the course of their lengthy rivalry, whereas Messi has solely ever performed for Barca. That did appear to be altering final summer season when he despatched ructions by the soccer world by briefly, and really publicly, toying with the concept of ending his 20-year affiliation with the Catalan giants.

There too had been doubts over Messi’s participation in opposition to Juve this week, after he was rested for Barca’s earlier two Champions League video games, however coach Ronald Koeman has since confirmed the Argentina captain will most definitely be part of his squad on Tuesday night. Who is aware of how for much longer he’ll be capable to say that?

Head-to-head

The pair have tangled a complete of 35 occasions for membership and nation. Certainly, throughout your entire length of Ronaldo’s senior profession, the one participant he is confronted extra is Andres Iniesta (36 occasions). However, Messi has confronted three different opponents on extra events throughout his profession: Sergio Ramos, Diego Godin, and Karim Benzema.

The very first assembly between the pair got here on April 23, 2008 when a 20-year-old Messi discovered himself fielded reverse a 23-year-old Ronaldo as Barcelona and Manchester United performed out a goalless draw within the first leg of the Champions League semifinals — United would go on to achieve the ultimate, the place they beat Chelsea on penalties. The latest assembly between Messi and Ronaldo got here in La Liga on Might 6, 2018, throughout the Clasico between Barca and Actual that led to a 2-2 draw.

The Barca celebrity is on high in the case of the head-to-head report between himself and Ronaldo, with 16 wins to his outdated foe’s 10. There have been 9 attracts. Messi additionally has extra objectives by far, having scored 22 to Ronaldo’s 19.

Forward of Tuesday’s recreation at Camp Nou, Messi and Ronaldo have by no means confronted one another throughout the Champions League group stage earlier than, although they’ve sparred 5 occasions within the knockout section — each legs of the 2007-08 and 2010-11 semifinals, and the 2009 ultimate in Rome.

Ronaldo stands out as the Champions League’s all-time high scorer with 132 objectives, however the Portugal captain has by no means scored within the competitors whereas sharing the pitch with Messi, who has scored three itmes in European clashes in opposition to groups that includes Ronaldo.


Most memorable clashes

Of the 35 events on which Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been pitted in opposition to one another, many have produced actually memorable encounters. Listed below are six of the perfect.

The 2009 ultimate in Rome was hyped as a gladiatorial conflict between the 2 greatest gamers on the planet, and this time Messi got here out on high. Barca efficiently saved United at arm’s size in Rome to win 2-0 — with Messi scoring a uncommon header for his staff’s second purpose — and safe their first ever league, cup and European Cup Treble.

The sport that was seen as one thing of a proving floor for each Messi and Ronaldo (who had been each Ballon d’Or winners by this level) veered off script because the Camp Nou witnessed a historic humiliation of Actual and their coach, Jose Mourinho. Messi did not rating, however he arrange two objectives as he performed a pivotal position in Barca shelling out a mauling of their foes, who had began the sport high of La Liga and unbeaten in seven matches. The hefty scoreline was immortalised by Gerard Pique‘s five-fingered “Manita” (“Little Hand”) salute to the watching world.

Ronaldo lastly triumphed over Barca as a Actual participant on the fifth time of asking. The Madrid ahead was the one scorer as his trademark towering 103rd-minute header noticed Los Blancos snatch the Copa del Rey from beneath Barca’s noses. Nevertheless, that ultimate on the Mestalla got here in the course of an intense run of 4 Clasicos in three weeks, which culminated in Barca reaching the Champions League ultimate on the expense of their bitter rivals.

Ronaldo once more prevailed when the outdated adversaries met at Camp Nou towards the tail finish of the 2011-12 league marketing campaign. Barca surrendered their hopes of defending the La Liga title as a winner from Ronaldo put Los Blancos seven factors clear on the high of the desk with 4 matches left to play. Ronaldo’s purpose additionally noticed Actual break the Spanish league scoring report with purpose No. 109 of the season, and so they romped to the title quickly thereafter.

Lengthy-awaited payback for Ronaldo got here within the latter phases of the 2012-13 Copa del Rey when the Actual man turned in a star efficiency to ship Barcelona packing. After the primary leg had ended 1-1 on the Bernabeu, the Portuguese ahead scored twice and nearly single-handedly wrapped up a 3-1 win on the Camp Nou within the return to seal Actual’s place within the ultimate. By the tip of the sport, Mourinho was overtly shushing the house followers together with his finger pressed in opposition to his lips and Ronaldo left the bottom having scored in every of his final six appearances on Barca’s hallowed turf.

Messi as soon as once more seized the headlines after a 92nd-minute winner from the Argentine talisman nicked a really late victory on the Bernabeu and saved Barca’s title aspirations alive. Having already scored within the first half, Messi saved his cool to fit dwelling an injury-time winner amid a hostile ambiance after which have fun by pointedly reminding the Actual supporters of his title. In your entire nine-year interval that Messi and Ronaldo had been collectively in Spain, there was by no means a goalless Clasico. Field workplace, assured.

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