Messi puts on own Champions League masterclass – but has praise for ‘magical’ Ronaldo
Messi scored two – including a sublime ‘Penenka’ penalty – and laid on two assists as Barcelona hammered Lyon 5-1 in Spain to win their last 16 tie by the same scoreline on aggregate.Also on rt.com Mighty Messi bags brace as Barcelona demolish toothless Lyon 5-1 to make CL quarters
The internet was gushing with praise for ‘alien’ Messi after his performance, which came just 24 hours after his great rival Ronaldo netted a hat-trick to haul Juventus past Atletico Madrid and into the last eight.
The pair of generational greats have often been seen as reluctant to praise the other, but speaking after the win against Lyon at the Nou Camp, Messi said: "What Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus did was impressive.”
"I thought Atletico Madrid would be tougher. Ronaldo had a magical night with three goals," he added, according to Marca.Also on rt.com Moved to tears: Girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez weeps as Ronaldo hits Champions League hat-trick
With both Juve and Barca in the hat for Friday’s quarterfinal draw, the pair of generational greats could soon cross paths – although Messi said the challenge posed by any of the remaining teams was a tough one.
As well as the Italian and Spanish pair, there are a quartet of English teams in Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham, as well as Ajax and Porto.
"All of the opponents are complicated. 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.”Also on rt.com Fantastic Four: Liverpool make it quartet of English teams into UCL last 8 with win over Bayern
Messi’s goals helped Barca to reach their 12th consecutive quarterfinal in the competition, as the Argentine scored his 107th and 108th Champions League goals on his 131st appearance.
Ronaldo’s treble against Atletico extended his record as the Champions League’s all-time top scorer with 124 strikes in 160 games.
As the competition heads into the last eight, brace yourselves for yet more discussion in the seemingly never-ending GOAT debate.