Argentina superstar Lionel Messi will get the chance to go head to head with the greatest rival in the football history Cristiano Ronaldo at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night for potentially the last time.
Lionel Messi is desperate to play against the player who was his greatest rival during Ronaldo’s 7 years at Real Madrid.
The Nepali time for the start of the match is tonight at 1:45 am.
Messi has been rested in Europe and Barcelona have beaten Dynamo Kiev 4-0 and Ferencvaros 3-0 without him, leaving them safely qualified to the knockout stages and just needing a point on Tuesday to top the group.
But that policy of leaving Messi as a spectator in Europe will be binned on Tuesday allowing him to face Ronaldo.
Ousmane Dembele’s hamstring injury limits Koeman’s attacking options.
He is already missing Ansu Fati and although he could line up with Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite and Francisco Trincao both Barcelona and Messi need a major morale boost to lift the gloom around the club after they lost their fourth game of the season at the weekend.
Messi missed out on his chance to face Ronaldo at the end of October because of the former Real Madrid man’s coronavirus positive.
They are unlikely to be playing in the same domestic league again so the 33-year-old Messi and the 35-year-old Ronaldo rely on Champions League encounters.
They have met 35 times before but not been rivals since May 2018, when Barcelona played Real Madrid for the last time before Ronaldo was sold. The game ended 2-2 with both Ronaldo and Messi on the scoresheet.
It was one of nine draws between the two. Messi has won 16 games against Ronaldo who has taken the spoils 10 times.
Not all the Ronaldo v Messi meetings have been clasicos. They have both won a game each in Portugal v Argentina matches and three times Messi took on Ronaldo at Manchester United.