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For the first time in two years and seven months, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi faced off against each other in an entertaining Champions League Group G clash between Juventus and Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
The two all-time greats of the game were finally reunited, showing nothing but respect for each other before kick-off.
Nothing but respect :heart:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2020
:tv: BT Sport ESPN HD pic.twitter.com/Qo1KUQKZ7Q
But this time around, Ronaldo came out on top.
Ronaldo, who has now scored 14 goals in his last 13 games at the Camp Nou, netted his 134th goal in Champions League competition on Tuesday night, once again producing on the biggest stage.
:microphone: The commentator on the game Juventus vs. Barcelona:- TeamCRonaldo (@TeamCRonaldo) December 8, 2020
"You can always debate who is better between them but, when it comes to delivering on the big stage, Cristiano Ronaldo has no rival." pic.twitter.com/gyi5riDsbV
It was a night to remember for the Portuguese international and after the full-time whistle, he made sure to pay tribute to his great rival Lionel Messi in a humble post-match interview.
"I have always had a cordial relationship with Messi," Ronaldo told Movistar via ESPN.
"As I have said before, for 12, 13, 14 years, I have been sharing prizes with him. I never saw him as a rival. He always tried the best for his team, and I tried the best for mine. I always got on well with him. I am sure he will say the same if you ask him.
"But we know in football, people always look for a rivalry to create more excitement."
Cristiano: "I never saw Messi as a rival. He tries to do the best for his team, like me. We have always had a very good relationship. Football sought a rivalry between us."#UCL pic.twitter.com/G6J6J9HplB- Cristiano Ronaldo :seven: (@CRonaldo7egend) December 8, 2020
The Juventus forward went on to rubbish claims Messi is in decline.
"It's always beautiful to play against him. Obviously people will talk about our rivalry when we meet, but for me it's just a great privilege.
"Messi is the same as ever [on the pitch]. Barcelona are in a difficult moment, but they are still Barca. I am sure they will come out of it. All teams have bad runs, but Barcelona are a very good team."
Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo praised Ronaldo for his efforts against the forward's "eternal rival".
"Ronaldo was very motivated to put in a good performance here against his eternal rival, so when you're that motivated, it becomes simple." he said.
"There are many games in a season and it's easier to get fired up for fixtures like this, but we mustn't lose sight of the real target, which is Serie A, so we have to be this concentrated and committed there too."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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