Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first since the 2004-2005 season.
After Juventus and Barcelona had been eliminated from the Champions League Round of 16, this means the ‘end of an era’ in European football for many football fans.
Messi and Ronaldo had been sensational over the last decade in their clubs by winning a combination of nine Champions League titles, Messi (4), Ronaldo (5). Still, it seems like that their dominance of over ten years came to an end.
This season, Juventus were surprisingly kicked out of Champions League by Porto on away goals, while Barcelona was eliminated by PSG 5-2 on aggregate.
Messi: Greatest Barcelona player ever
Messi made his Champions League debut in the 2004-2005 season against Shakhtar Donetsk when his team lost to the Ukrainian side 2-0.
He netted his first Champions League goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 win over Panathinaikos and lifted his first European Cup at the end of the 2005-2006 season.
After the 2005/2006 season, he became a vital part of the squad and won his second Champions League title in the 2008-2009 season. Messi scored nine goals in 12 matches in the tournament.
In the 2010-2011 season, a pure Barcelona product, Messi had an impressive form in the Champions League and netted 12 goals in 13 appearances to win the cup at the end of the season.
Argentine star, 33, won his last Champions League title in 2015 and he led his team to victory by scoring ten goals in 13 matches.
This season, fans were not satisfied over Barcelona’s form as their club was eliminated from the Champions League and now sit in the second spot with 59 points in the La Liga, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Regarded as the greatest Barcelona footballer ever and one of the greatest to ever play football, Messi also won ten league titles with the La Liga side. But his sensational career at Barcelona may come to an end in 2021 if both sides fail to reach an agreement to extend his contract.
Messi already requested to leave the club in the 2020 summer transfer window, but Barcelona did not allow his exit.
On the other hand, Barcelona failed to reach the UEFA Champions League quarters for the first time since the 06/07 season, snapping a 13-year-run.
Ronaldo: Career full of Champions League trophies
A five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, left his mark on modern football by scoring 668 club goals in 883 matches.
Before moving to English Premier League side Manchester United in 2003, Portuguese star started his senior career at Sporting CP, in his country.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s rise began at Manchester United, where he won three consecutive Premier League titles in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
After making his Champions League debut in the 2002-2003 season, Ronaldo bagged his first Champions League trophy in 2008 and scored eight goals in 11 goals this season.
Ronaldo moved to Spanish side Real Madrid on a record fee of €94 million in 2009.
He lifted the Spanish La Liga twice with Real Madrid in 2012 and 2017, but he had even a more impressive Champions League form in Madrid, helping his club win four titles in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Ronaldo scored 105 goals in 101 matches for Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Ronaldo departed Real Madrid to join Juventus in 2018, becoming the Italian champion twice in 2019 and 2020. However, his club’s form in the Champions League failed to meet expectations, facing an early exit from the tournament over the last three seasons.
Ajax eliminated Juventus in the quarter-final in Cristiano’s first season with the club.
Last season, his team was knocked out in the round of 16 by Olympique Lyon.
In the league, Juventus’ nine-year domination of Serie A seems to end this season by Inter Milan. Inter Milan are at the top of Serie A with a nine-point advantage.
Juventus are in third place with 55 points.
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