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Thursday October 1 2020
Ronaldo and Messi, we meet again

The eternal rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is renewed in the Champions League, writes Kaustubh Pandey, as Juventus face Barcelona.

It is certainly one for the history books when a team that has Cristiano Ronaldo takes on one with Lionel Messi. This time though, the reason is not quite amusing. The upcoming showdowns between the best two players of the last decade will take place in nearly empty stadiums.

It would have been a momentous occasion if Barcelona and Juventus had met in a sold-out Nou Camp or in a packed Allianz Stadium with two of the game's heroes taking each other on. It always creates new plots like it did when Messi came up with the famous shirt celebration at the Santiago Bernabeu in April 2017.

Ronaldo did not hold back and promptly replied a few months later with just the same celebration, claiming Real Madrid’s Spanish Super Cup glory in Barça’s home. Even the boos of their opponents’ fans could heat them up.

It will still be a historic moment unfolding when Juve take on Barcelona this season, but there might not be enough people to witness another chapter of the rivalry. In fact, even if Uefa has allowed to play International competitions in stadiums filled to a maximum of 30 per cent capacity, the rule can only be applied where local laws permit.

Last week in Italy the Technical-Scientific Committee said denied the request of reopening Serie A stadiums to 25 per cent capacity. Therefore, as of today, only 1000 fans would be allowed to watch Ronaldo vs. Messi live from the stands of the Allianz Stadium.

The rivalry between the Argentine and Portuguese star has reached its peak in La Liga but begun in 2009, months after Messi had won the second Champions League of his career in Rome, beating Ronaldo’s Manchester United in the only Champions League final CR7 has lost so far. They have conquered the world since then, winning anything they could, both on personal and on a team level.

Every year they were raising the bar of greatness and in their last meeting in Spain they did not disappoint expectations scoring one each in a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp. Now, more than two years later, it is time to see at least twice again some Ronaldo vs. Messi action. Hoping it is not their Last Dance. The right game at the wrong time but even if the warmth of a jam-packed crowd will be missed, Messi and Ronaldo would still feel the eyes of the world watching them.

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Have your say...
The two best players in my life time, probably for lifetimes to come. It's a shame that potentially the last time competitively these two will face each other may be behind doors.
on the 2nd October, 2020 at 5:16pm
The draw on paper looks kind for all four Serie A teams. Even Inter should be able to get through. In fact for Inter it's imperative they get through.
Lazio are probably the most likely to not get through as they are simply not strong enough.
It would be so good to see all 4 go through. Something that has not happened fro many, many years.
on the 2nd October, 2020 at 3:57pm
I agree that today's draw gives Italian teams a chance to make it to the next round. Juve will advance for sure along with Inter. Atalanta should progress as they can beat Liverpool thats for sure.

Lazio can progress but they need at least another option at CB, full back and midfield for depth. Lazio was great last year but the owners don't invest in the team at all. PSG Man City two teams with no history were bought out and hopefully Lazio will be sold to someone that wants to invest $$$$.
on the 2nd October, 2020 at 1:09am
For once, it was a decent draw for the Italian teams. It certainly could've been far worse

Ronaldo v Messi probably won't matter too much, given both teams should qualify

Atalanta's defence might struggle v Liverpool, but they should give the EPL winners a scare. They have a good shot of going through

Lazio aren't good enough, but could finish second

Inter got it the worst, but even their group isn't bad. RM are fading

No reason for the Italian teams to not be each aiming for 10 points+
on the 1st October, 2020 at 11:47pm

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