The quarter-final draw of the UEFA Champions League threw up some fascinating match-ups between some of Europe’s biggest football clubs. While Juventus vs FC Barcelona pits the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League finalists against each other, Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid is the standout heavyweight tie of the round.
Then we have Leicester City. The fairytale bandwagon of the Foxes will roll on to the Vicente Calderon as they get ready to face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid warriors in yet another fascinating match-up. But perhaps the most captivating tie of the round pits two of Europe’s youngest, fastest football clubs against each other – AS Monaco and Borussia Dortmund.
The draw also threw up a fascinating inter-Argentinian rivalry.
Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) vs Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
At first sight, there is nothing to read here. Both are international teammates who play for two of Europe’s biggest and most successful clubs in two different countries. But upon closer inspection, one finds something brewing under the surface.
Many Argentina fans blame Higuain for ruining Lionel Messi’s chances of winning International silverware on THREE occasions. The Juventus striker missed 3 gilt-edged chances of scoring in three successive finals – 2014 World Cup, 2015 & 2016 Copa America.
Although Messi hasn’t come out and publicly criticized his Argentinian counterpart, deep down he knows that Higuain’s misses have cost him a place in football history. So shattered was Messi after his latest final defeat that he came out and announced his international retirement. He was later persuaded by Argentina’s new manager Edgardo Bauza to come out of retirement and continue playing for his country.
Nevertheless, when Juventus (and Higuain) and Barcelona lineup to face each other in the quarter-final of the Champions League 3 weeks from now, Messi will once again be reminded of those haunting memories that have kept him up for many a night.
This tweet from Roy Nemer, founder of Mundo Albiceleste, sums it all up really…
I can’t wait until Higuain scores the winner which knocks Barcelona out and I just give up on watching this sport.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) March 17, 2017