And, if they do, will Messi be defending the Blaugrana? Will they play against each other in a Champions League game? For us, and for the history of the beautiful game, I hope so.
The first 20 minutes showed what was expected, Barcelona with no depth on the midfield. On the other side, the Italian team dominated the first actions, with a great presence of midfield trio Arthur, Mckennie and Ramsey. Juventus scored 2 goals in the first 20 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo, converting a penalty, and Mckennie, with a stunning volley.
Barcelona were apathetic until the 30th minute, due to the comfortable situation the away team had. Juventus played with a 5-3-2 formation and the 3 centre backs did not have a lot to do, since Barca did not have any creativity besides Lionel Messi.
The second half started the same way the first half finished: Barcelona passing the ball around the Juventus area with no incisive dribbles, long shots, fast plays. It was an unrecognisable Barcelona, arguably the worst Barcelona in 20 years.
Messi had his best game of the season, he was the only player that created chances and tried to do something different. Once more, Griezmann did not play what was expected from him and Barca’s defence played horribly. Ronald and Lenglet exposed the poor work being done by Koeman, and with no chemistry and conceding a penalty each, they only made Ronaldo look better with 2 more goals in his long scoring list.
On the Italian side, Gianluigi Buffon was the best player of the match. The goalkeeper had a very secure performance and in his 43 years of age, he is an example of longevity. Besides Buffon, Arthur and Cuadrado had an amazing game. An overall great performance for Juventus. The 3-0 result guaranteed the first place in the group stage.
The game and its result are far to be what matters the most. We, as lovers and spectators of football, are going through the end of an era. These two players, which absolutely dominated the stage for the last 13 years or so, are each day closer to the end of their careers. Instead of starting a discussion of who is the best, we should appreciate and enjoy the last sparks of geniality Messi and CR7 will gift us with.
The draw of the last 16 will happen on Monday, starting at 11 a.m. GMT/ 6 a.m. ET.:
Knockout stage possible matches:
Atletico Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach, Porto, Sevilla, and RB Leipzig.
Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Liverpool.
The round of 16 is not due to take place until 2021, around mid-February. Until then, lets appreciate their talent in the leagues, where both Barcelona and Juventus can improve.