Exactly 4632 days have passed since Cristiano Ronaldo first appeared at the Camp Nou and discovered a small improvised barca-coloured wizard in the opposition ranks. A fly in his ointment.
It was Manchester United who was about to win the Champions League in 2008, the first round of the semifinals.
Unlike December 2020, this former stadium was then fully equipped with rafters for the first stage of Lionel Messi-Ronaldo at the Camp Nou – 95,949 passionate fans. Those were the days.
But just as in December 2020, Barcelona is bogged down. Even to the knees.
From the Copa del Rey and in the middle of five games without winning, 11 points behind the champion – the Real Madrid man and manager who was a veteran of the winning team of the 1988 European Championship in the Netherlands.
Then Frank Rykaard, now Ronald Coeman. The team won a spectacular victory over the United States, with the Netherlands winning its first major trophy and now looking back on the turbulence and failure of Barcelona.
– The evaluation of the players: Barca support does not work 7/10 Messi
– Report : Ronaldo Brace, McKennie-Salvenkraft Juve via Barca
– Ronaldo : I’ve never seen Lionel Massey as an opponent.
As in December 2020, Ronaldo received an early conviction in April 2008, 662 weeks ago.
Three minutes before the semifinals and 13 minutes before this one-sided meeting, which certainly helped Zhuv Ronald win the group, but perhaps also served as the last club match between these two heroic players who have dominated the scene and our debate for 16 years.
In 2008, Ronaldo falsified the penalty on a large scale.
Portuguese superstar Juventus, who had a late chance to make up for that rare setback, scored a brace by deceiving Barca goalkeeper Marca-Andre-Ter-Stegen, almost forgetting that the shot for first place was one of the weakest decisions he had ever made.
It’s not his fault. But it was a comedy. When Ronald Araujo leaned neck to neck with Ronaldo, Juve’s No7 did not even declare a foul, and when the referee hit the ball with a 15-metre shot, it was a comedy – see the shocking double shot he made in the ranks of Barcelona. Ronaldo just shrugged his shoulders and made gestures saying… What an umpire! I’ll take it!
While Ronaldo, who played against Messi five years ago, took five penalty points himself, the Argentine could only watch. He’s impotent. Disappointed. Probably violent.
Of course nobody knows if it was a swan song for this most exciting, controversial and beautiful rivalry between the silky Messi and the mighty Ronaldo.
But I can say this with certainty: If this is the last time they meet on the field (which I personally doubt), it’s a bad way to remember the rivalry.
In Barca Zhuva did not have a rival worthy of a name or reason if it was the curtain in Messi-Ronaldo’s show. Ronaldo played all the right notes.
He took both shots on goal and almost helped Leonardo Bonucci to regain his strength when he scored the fourth goal that would have sealed the group win much sooner. His typical jump, pirouettes and thunder parties were there, and we even had a nice embrace of the friendship between him and the man who once entertained him, but to whom he learned over time to show respect and even a little affection.
There was also a wonderful moment when Ronaldo categorically refused to accept the idea that a lost goal in Barcelona could help them register a success, even if they were beaten at night, and rushed to Zhuva’s penalty area to sort the material and the records. It was a look and a half.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo indifferently defeated Barcelona 3-0 on Tuesday. JOSEP LAGO/AFP on Getty Images
But it can be argued that if your visit was pushed away from the goal line, then the performance of the team, that side won the grand prize (the answers for not having a friend to call or ask the audience) : Juve, Juve and Juve) that Messi was more interesting and dedicated to the game, which destroyed Barcelona’s invincible seven-and-a-half year old home run in this competition.
Messi is in crisis. His uniform is lethargic, the crew around him is falling apart, and his reinforcements are young and energetic, not ready to fight in the streets.
Despite the fact that Kuman did not have any behavioral problems in practice, Messi is rather unhappy that for some reason he could not slip off his feet in August.
By this I mean the outgoing President and the FC Barcelona Board of Directors, who, despite their promise, persistently refused to let him go freely to Manchester City, but were less persistent in ending their tenure than they had dreamed.
But in this potential book about what has been a fun and memorable 36 games (including this Zhuva victory), Messi has been awakened between two men who have far surpassed the status of football legends and stand out in the pantheon of post-war greats in all disciplines.
– ESPN FC Daily feeding ESPN+ (US only)
– Messi versus Ronaldo Their most memorable collisions
He overslept. The impact of that strange calendar year, where the body is timing almost every athlete on the team on the pot, and then the effect of his feet running non-stop for years and years as he leaves his Peter Pan character and turns 33, well, those effects are quite noticeable now.
So no matter how many neutral spectators appreciate it, it can’t be a battle of the arm between two star players.
Where Ronaldo led the seemingly invincible invasion of the Italian forces, but Messi was a full-fledged partisan who could lead and inspire some rags and the resistance in Camp Nou against the whooping cough that probably wouldn’t come. It’s a Hollywood scenario.
After the game, Ronaldo said: The bill here is always something special to me. We have shared the last 12-13 years of our lives with Messi. It’s always nice to look him in the face. Of course people talk about our rivalry, but for me it is always a privilege to meet him in person, and of course I am happy to meet him.
I feel very good, the objectives are important, but I would like to keep working like this, because it is not easy to maintain the same standards all the time.
But, no. It was a team victory. Actually, the team is alone. But we’ll come back to that.
Despite all this, Messi was working on his little socks.
More stamina, more room for research, better passageways on the walls and an upcoming side show that distracts the spotlight from what would become the main show.
When he left at the end, Messi changed lanes, but not with Christiano, who had been sitting in his warm Juve-fleece anorak for a few minutes and was dependent on manager Andrea Pirlo. No, Messi chose Gianluigi Buffon.
And there was a reason for that. The night that the creators of the title were homesick for the title of Messi vs. Ronaldo Part 36! was a really exciting battle: Messi vs. Buffon.
Messi repeatedly stabbed the gloves of the young hippopotamus, who turned 43 in January, or sent him to both sides of the target frame, which could have been an uncircumcised Juventus.
When in the first half the sensational Weston McKenney seemed to push Messi for a shot and the Barcelona players demanded a penalty, it was simply disgusting to see Messi watching Buffon from a penalty spot. A victorious look, and when the big Italian shook his head, there was no buddy, it really wasn’t Messi’s little finger gesture to the legendary Juve goalkeeper. Two sizes.
Moments later, when Buffon grabbed the ball and ran to the edge of his area to try and restart the game quickly, Messi pulled his sweater playfully from behind, and Buffon didn’t even stop to look – he burst out laughing. He knew who it was, didn’t lose his patience and gave Messi a pat on the back as he walked by.
But that didn’t stop him from saving Messi again and again. On the night he would be number 10 in Barcelona against number 7 at Juve, it was number 77 at Juve who helped spoil the party and steal the cake.
All this contributes to the fact that history goes beyond what happened here.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Messi put on the jersey on Gigi Buffon during the match, but there was no malicious intent. Sportinfo/DeFody imagery through Getty Images
Messi vs. Ronaldo has been a great tapestry for each of them over the years, adding great moments of naked bravery and brilliant improvisation to the work of their great teammates.
They have been two excellent players most of our lives, whether we have a slight preference for one or the other. Imagine that in the Ballon d’Or competition since 2007, ten times one of these two prizes put the other in one place, usually the first and second, and that at the last prize, Ronaldo was third and Messi was first.
The pendulum swung back and forth, but no matter how well the individual worked, they always played in a block where there was special talent, special effort, great spirit and the recognition that everyone, whether teammate or member of the technical staff, was working on a platform for Ronaldo or Messi to dot the i’s and give triumphant accents.
That’s not the case today. In favor of Ronaldo, he had the ambition, the fear, the hunger and the desire to give up the pursuit of his life in Madrid to risk going on to the club and the league, which can be described as dying compared to the last 20 years of Spanish football.
Whether you think it was the right thing to do or not, the fact is, it thrives. More league titles, a large number of goals last season, the main player in Serie A and now – this.
What was wonderful to watch, and I’m sure it would have given Messi a time to think, maybe even an extra push to leave Camp Nou after his contract ended, was to look at Juve’s operations around Ronaldo.
Every ball was caught, they jumped blocks with the absolute conviction that they could win and that they would win with three or more clear goals. Around Ronaldo the players walked like dervishes, passing at high speed and playing back when the beetle grabbed the ball – it was a team.
They were stronger, bigger, faster and smarter. And all that time Messi was playing with his teammates, whom Kuman later described as scared. The team that, according to Antoine Grizman, should have accepted this defeat as a wake-up call.
If we ever get Messi Ronaldo, which the winner, regardless of the scoring line, equals years of rivalry and 35 head-to-heads between them, Messi will have to leave Barcelona. At the age of 33, he is not yet finished, he still has many brilliant moments to offer us, with which he can entertain us and thanks to which he can achieve personal satisfaction after that long game in which he played for a pale imitation of Barcelona.
For a time they were fierce rivals, there was mutual jealousy, antipathy and jealousy, then respect and even affection. There are headlines, dribbling, fines, trophies, crafts, excitement, mutual incentives to improve, never to relax, and some of the most magical, unpredictable and influential clasicos in the history of this instrument.
It is a great privilege to witness this rivalry, to question both of them, to see each of them behind the scenes, to be lifted from my chair and, in sheer excitement, to see things that surpass anything I have ever seen or written.
But now, if… and please don’t let this happen… it turns out that it’s the end of a personal rivalry between one of the most greedy sports in his online version, then Ronaldo Messi may have done a big favor: The favor to show him that moving forward, experimenting with new meadows can actually lead to greener grass, more fun and a real career in autumn, which real giants like these two deserve so massively.
The service came in the form of a strong and bitter medicine. But if it can help Massey heal from what’s bothering him now, Ronald’s Christmas card might be good.
Either that, or an unlikely return match in the next knockout rounds of this competition. But that’s a different story. For the time being, this story will prove useful.
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