Lionel Messi’s message to Cristiano Ronaldo as he races to recover from coronavirus in time to face Barcelona


Lionel Messi hopes to face his long-term rival at the top of the world game, Cristiano Ronaldo, when the two teams meet in the Champions League next week.

Barcelona and Juventus were both drawn in Group G, along with Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros, but the Portuguese attacker’s participation is in doubt after he twice tested positive for coronavirus.

Sky Sports report that he is symptom-free and his second test report was sent to UEFA a week before the game, per the established protocol, and if he tests negative 24 hours before kick-off he would be allowed to play.

And while his absence might improve Barca’s chances of a result, Messi wished his opponent a speedy recovery and said he hopes the two of them can continue providing special moments against each other for fans.

“Obviously when Cristiano played for Real Madrid the games were special. Matches against them always are [special], but with Cristiano on the pitch they took on a particular significance,” he said to DAZN, per the Mail.

“That is now in the past and we look forward to today’s challenges. Wednesday there could be this challenge and we hope Cristiano can be there and will soon recover from Covid.

“[Games] with Cristiano were and are a special duel which will remain forever. They last many years and it is not easy to maintain those levels for such a long time.

“Competing as equals for so many years is something that will remain forever. The duel between me and Cristiano was very good on a personal level and I think people enjoyed it.

“The fans of Real, Barca, but in general all football fans, have seen a great show. We hope to give them even more emotions [on Wednesday]”

Barca won their opening group game 5-1 against Hungarian side Ferencvaros, while Juve saw off Ukrainian outfit Kyiv 2-0. Wednesday’s game takes place in Turin.

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