First meeting between Ronaldo and Messi since 2018Tuesday’s game was the first meeting between Ronaldo and Messi in more than two years. The last matchup between the two soccer legends came in May 2018, when Ronaldo was still playing for Real Madrid. The Portuguese star departed Real Madrid for Juventus two months later. “I have always had a cordial relationship with Messi,” Ronaldo said after the match. “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.” It was the 36th all-time meeting between Ronaldo and Messi for both club and country, although this marked the first time they faced off in the UCL group stage. The 33-year-old Messi and Ronaldo have combined to win the Ballon d’Or — an award given annually to the top player in the world — in 11 of the last 12 years. Juventus and Barcelona will now advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League. Reporting by Connor Grott
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