#YNaijaSportsExtra: Ronaldo vs Messi showdown not happening, owing to a small misunderstanding

Remember how excited the football world was to discover that both Lionel Messi’s team Barcelona, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s team, Juventus, were set to face off in the UEFA Champion’s league, having found themselves on the same table during the UCL draws? Well, that excitement would have to be put on hold, as Ronaldo squaring off against Messi is not going to happen today.

Messi and Ronaldo who have both shared the position of best player in the world for the last decade were set to face each other again during the UCL group stages. Their first faceoff was supposed to go down today, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s team failed to turn in a negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before the match.

This match was set to be the biggest headliner for the group stages of the UEFA champion’s league tournament, especially considering that Ronaldo has not gone up against Messi since he signed with Juventus back in 2018. The match was supposed to be reminiscent of El Classico, back when Ronaldo’s Real Madrid would square off against Messi’s Barcelona. Unfortunately, the match is a bust and soccer fans all over the world would have to wait till December 8, 2020, before they are treated to this clash of the titans.

The Serie A champion tested positive for Covid-19 on October 13 and has been in self-isolation since then. However, UEFA requires players who tested positive for Covid to turn in a negative test result 24 hours before any match before they are eligible to play. Ronaldo’s team Juventus couldn’t meet this deadline and as such he would be unavailable for the selection.

The entire debacle began when Ronaldo allegedly violated Covid-19 protocols. Two Juventus staff had tested positive for coronavirus and the team was immediately placed in judiciary isolation. This meant that the players were given the leeway to self-isolate in their own bubble. However, Ronaldo is said to have disregarded this protocol and travelled regardless.

The Portuguese native, travelled back to his home country to join his national team for the international break. It is there he would eventually test positive. He returned to Italy in a specially sanitised ambulance jet and has since been touting his good health on social media with posts showing him working out. But this will not be enough as UEFA still needs that negative result before they can ok him for any match.

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