Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will do battle for the first time in two years next week.
Seldom does a day go by without the Barcelona and Juventus superstars being compared – trust me, I’m a sportswriter, I should know – but we’ve not actually seen them share a pitch since 2018.
Messi and Ronaldo reunited
But as soon as Ronaldo upped sticks for a Juventus move, we’ve been left keeping our fingers tightly crossed that the Italian and Spanish juggernauts would meet in the Champions League.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what has happened this season, though we’ve been made to wait until game-week six to see them actually meet with Ronaldo having missed the reverse fixture.
And the clash at Camp Nou is by no means a dead-rubber fixture with the Old Lady needing a comfortable win in Catalonia to have any hope of usurping Messi’s men to top spot in Group G.
Messi vs Ronaldo comparisons
Let’s face it, seeing Ronaldo galloping down the flanks of Europe’s biggest stadium is going to bring back some incredible memories, even if Messi will be hoping to steal the show at home.
Now, naturally, we can’t wait to see that titanic clash between Ballon d’Or winners take place, but that doesn’t mean we can’t disappear down the Messi vs Ronaldo rabbit hole in the meantime.
Besides, ladies and gentlemen, we live in a world where the two superstars have been compared by methods ranging from university studies and data analyses to FIFA 21 and UFC simulations.
Champions League leadership skills
And while today isn’t the day to see Ronaldo and Messi grappling in the octagon, we are instead turning our attention to a viral video comparing the two players in the Champions League.
In fact, to be more specific, the clip by Twitter user @Ronaldoalbi7 has contrasted how Messi and Ronaldo reacted to being 3-0 down during crucial knockout games in Europe’s top competition.
The fascinating edit pits Messi during the 3-0 defeat at AS Roma against Ronaldo when Real fell 3-0 down against Juventus in the very same season – check out the full video down below:
Sheesh. You’ve got to say the difference is startling.
Ronaldo > Messi as leaders?
Now, the elephant in the room here is that Kostas Manolas scored in the 82nd minute of Barcelona’s famous collapse, whereas Ronaldo had fully 30 minutes to rally his Real teammates and the fans.
Nevertheless, anything can happen in football, so it’s surprising to see that Messi, as Barca captain, didn’t do more to try and inspire his players to battle for an away goal in the Italian capital.
And just in case you think this tweet is an anomalous example fitting a pro-Ronaldo agenda, then we’ll kindly refer you to a similar video that emerged after Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich.
So, yes, while Ronaldo vs Messi couldn’t possibly be any closer in many aspects of their games, I think we can all agree that we’d rather have one player leading our dressing room in Europe over the other.