Barcelona star Lionel Messi has shared his thoughts on his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo testing positive for coronavirus.

Both stars have been scheduled to face off again for the first time since the Portuguese left Los Blancos as the Catalans battle Juventus in the second Champions League group game this season.

But Ronaldo might not be part of this crucial encounter having tested positive for the second time after initially contracting the disease earlier this month.

Daily Star reports that Juve are hoping UEFA will allow them to test the 35-year-old again 48 hours before the clash. Ahead of next week’s Champions League meeting, Messi told DAZN: 

“Obviously when Cristiano played for Real Madrid the games were special.

Matches against them always are [special], but with Cristiano on the pitch they took on a particular significance. 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].”

Barcelona and Juventus have been drawn to face each other in the Champions League group stages, both home and away.