The 2020-21 season will mark the sixth occasion of the two superstars taking on each other’s team in the continental tournament.
Two of the greats of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won a combined 11 Balon D’or titles and 10 European Golden Shoe apart from host of other titles. The duo took rivalry between them on the next level and has given so many memories to the fans over the years. More than a decade-long competition between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, arguably the final chapter of it will be on display when Juventus and Barcelona go head to head in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League this season.
Strangely, it will be the first time since the 2010-11 season both Messi and Ronaldo will go against each other in the European competition. So we at Khel Now will let you know what happened when both of their sides took on each other in UCL over the years.
5. FC Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United (2008 semi-final first leg)
Ronaldo and Messi found each other at the opposite end for the very first time in the UEFA Champions League at the first leg of the 2008 semi-final at Camp Nou. The Red Devils got an early penalty in the game but unfortunately Cristiano Ronaldo missed it in the third minute of the game. During the course of the game the Spanish side enjoyed majority of possession but could hardly pose a threat to the United defence.
Ronaldo made several attempts to score but could not find the back of the nets, whereas, Messi had an average game as well. The Argentine was then replaced by Bojan Krkic in the 62nd minute and the game ended in a goalless draw.
4. Manchester United 1-0 Barca (2008 semi-final second leg)
The second meeting between Ronaldo and Messi in the Champions League was in the second leg of the semi-final in 2008. The English giants scored early on the 14th minute through a long-range strike by Paul Scholes. Unlike the first leg, the game saw Barca dominating the game in the first half and making runs behind the United defence. Lionel Messi displayed a memorable performance throughout the game but was kept at bay by Edwin van der Sar.
Manchester United also received chances to double their lead in the second half, however, found it hard to overcome Victor Valdes. In the final minutes of the game, FC Barcelona came close to equalizing through Henry’s curling header, but it was saved by the Manchester United goalkeeper. After their win against Barcelona, the Red Devils went on to win the UEFA Champions League title that year, defeating Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.
3. FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (2009 final)
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi faced off against each for the third time during the Champions League final of 2008-09 season. Manchester United were on course to winning their second consecutive title and they faced FC Barcelona at the final in Rome. The Red Devils started in a positive manner, however, it was FC Barcelona who broke the deadlock through Samuel Eto’o on the 10th minute.
In the second half, the English giants tried several attempts on goal but were unsuccessful. However, FC Barcelona doubled their lead through Messi and won the title in the process.
2. Real Madrid 0-2 FC Barcelona (2011 semi-final first leg)
In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid brought Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United and since then, the rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi peaked. The two Spanish giants squared off against each other in the continental competition in the 2010-11 season.
There were a few on field decisions that went against Real Madrid, specially the sending off of Pepe. FC Barcelona took full advantage of Madrid being a man down as they went on to score two goals in last 15 minutes of the game through Lionel Messi. After the game, Jose Mourinho lashed out his frustrations to the media and faced disciplinary action from UEFA.
1. Real Madrid 1-1 FC Barcelona (2011 semi-final second Leg)
The second leg of the semi final in the 2010-11 season saw Cristiano Ronaldo to face off against Lionel Messi for the fifth time in the competition. FC Barcelona took the lead through Pedro on the 54th minute while Marcelo equalized for Real Madrid on the 64th minute. Los Blancos couldn’t score more goals as the Blaugrana advanced to the final on aggregate.
Similar to the previous leg, this match also created controversy after Madrid claimed that Gonzalo Higuain’s second half strike was wrongly disallowed. Later, then assistant coach Aitor Karanka expressed, “[José] Mourinho is right – after the game in Madrid he said it was impossible for us to go forward. You’ve seen that. It’s been impossible for us to go forward.”