Lionel Messi heaps praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after Juventus star's performance against Atletico Madrid
What's the story?
Following a 5-1 thrashing of the French club Lyon at the Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi played contributed with two goals and two assists, the Argentine forward heaped praise on his counterpart, Cristiano Ronaldo.
A day before the Barcelona-Lyon clash, the Portuguese talisman put up a sparkling performance against his former-rivals, Atletico Madrid, scoring a hat-trick to knock them out of the Champions League with a 3-0 (3-2 on aggregate) win in Turin.
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In what was expected to be a thriller of a match, Juventus hosted Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Stadium with an arduous task of overturning a 2-0 deficit from the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano.
As expected, Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show, almost single-handedly taking the Bianconerri into the next round. With two splendid headers and a penalty kick smashed into the back of the net, the Portuguese replicated his performance from 2016 against Wolfsburg during his time with Real Madrid.
Next day, his counterpart Lionel Messi performed similarly as his side comfortably won their tie against Lyon with a 5-1 win at the Camp Nou. The five-time Ballon d'Or scored two and set up another two.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on Cristiano Ronaldo's performance against Atletico Madrid, the Argentine talisman said:
"What Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus did was impressive," the forward said after the match.
"I thought Atletico Madrid would be tougher.
"Ronaldo had a magical night with three goals."
Messi will soon find out if they'll face Ronaldo in the next round but the Argentine thinks that, at this stage, any team can be surprising:
"All of the opponents are complicated," he said.
"Ajax, for example, showed that they're an amazing team of youngsters and they don't fear anyone.
"It'll be difficult no matter who we face.
"We have to prepare ourselves for a tough challenge."
With the hopes of leading their teams further in the European competition, Messi and Ronaldo will find their next opponents soon.
Ronaldo's former club, Real Madrid, might have been knocked out of the Champions League but his rivalry with Lionel Messi continues as they could possibly face each other in the next round.