Messi, in the meantime, has been rested for Barca’s final two Champions League video games with qualification for the spherical of 16 already secured, however Ronald Koeman mentioned he’ll return to the squad to face Juve.
“Leo and [Ronaldo] are two unbelievable gamers who’ve been nice to observe for thus lengthy,” the Barcelona coach mentioned in his pre-game information convention.
“They’re the perfect of the final 15 years. They’ve achieved a lot success. They’re completely different gamers however I love them each. They’ve given us many nice nights and I hope we take pleasure in them each [on Tuesday].”
Messi and Ronaldo have marked an period in European soccer, with one or the opposite successful the Ballon d’Or in 11 of the final 12 years.
Their rivalry got here to outline the Clasico between Barca and Madrid over the past decade, with their performances and objectives driving their respective golf equipment to success each domestically and in Europe.
They’re each now within the latter phases of their profession — Messi is 33 and Ronaldo is 35 — however stay among the many greatest gamers on the planet.
“Ronaldo’s nonetheless among the many elite due to how he fights and the objectives he scores,” Koeman added.
The match between Barca and Juve will determine who tops the group, with Koeman’s facet three factors clear in high spot, however issues usually are not going as easily for them in La Liga.
“I’m sad concerning the state of affairs within the league,” Koeman mentioned, who criticised the players’ attitude on the weekend. “There are variations between the Cadiz loss and the Atletico [Madrid defeat two weeks ago].
“If I lose, I’m offended, and that is what I advised the gamers after the sport. You can not settle for the objectives we’ve conceded a number of instances now at a membership like Barcelona.
“The message for the gamers is to remind them of the duty they’ve being right here [at Barca]. What is alleged particularly within the dressing room stays there, however we’ve to be more practical and make fewer errors.”
Messi has scored simply twice from open play in 13 appearances for Barca this season and has been the topic of criticism following their newest defeat.
Nevertheless, Koeman mentioned he is a straightforward goal due to his standing and defended the ahead, who’s free to speak to different golf equipment from January onwards together with his contract expiring in June.
“Leo’s vital to our assault — crucial half, in truth,” he mentioned. “Most strikes come from his ft. Typically it is best guilty Messi, as a result of he is the perfect on the planet.”