Lionel Messi hopes Cristiano Ronaldo can play in Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Juventus because coming up against him is “special”.
Ronaldo is a doubt for the fixture after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Portuguese first tested positive on October 13 while on international duty, and immediately began self-isolating.
Ronaldo missed Juventus’ next two matches against Crotone and Dynamo Kiev as a result, but was hopeful of returning in time to take on Barcelona.
Juventus play host to the La Liga giants next Wednesday, and Ronaldo took a second test in advance of the fixture.
The 35-year-old was found to still have the virus, meaning he is a doubt to play.
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Juventus are working to have Ronaldo tested one final time 48 hours before the match, and have their fingers crossed that he will be clear of Covid-19.
Messi has spoken out about playing against Ronaldo, and says he hopes the Portuguese will be available.
“Obviously when Cristiano played for Real Madrid the games were special,” Messi told DAZN. “Matches against them always are [special], but with Cristiano on the pitch they took on a particular significance.
On his rivalry with Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid, Messi added: “That is now in the past and we look forward to today’s challenges. Wednesday there could be this challenge and we hope Cristiano can be there and will soon recover from Covid.
“The ones with Cristiano were and are a special duel which will remain forever. They last many years and it is not easy to maintain those levels for such a long time.
Our teams were also very demanding: Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two strongest clubs in the world.
“Competing as equals for so many years is something that will remain forever. The duel between me and Cristiano was very good on a personal level and I think people enjoyed it.
“The fans of Real, Barca, but in general all football fans, have seen a great show. We hope to give them even more emotions [on Wednesday].”