Final Champions without Messi and Ronaldo the beginning of a new era?
The last time that the Grand Final of the maximum competition of clubs did not have any of the two world stars was in 2013. In that season, the finalists were Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who eliminated Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively. In London, Munich took the ‘Orejona’ by 2-1.
A very interesting factor to take into account is that both Ronaldo (34) and Messi (31) overcome the barrier of 30 years so both figures could be at the beginning of a downward curve after dominating the world football scene by the last 10 years. It could be the moment when fans start looking for new idols.
For example, Liverpool’s offensive trident -Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino- none of them exceeds 28 years, while of the Tottenham figures -Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli- none of them exceeds 26 years . That is, these players are at their best physical moment and they have many years left to continue shining.
In this category we must also take into account players like Kylian Mbappé (20 years), Antoine Griezmann (28), Paul Pogba (26), Neymar (27), Frenkie de Jong (21), Vinícius Júnior (18), enter other figures that could take the place of Messi and Cristiano.
Regarding the Argentine and Portuguese star, the absence that is most striking is that of La ‘Pulga’, who has not managed to play a Champions League Final since 2015. The crack of Barcelona has been very close to fight for the title in the last two editions but has been the victim of great comebacks.
For example, in the previous edition of the Champions League, the Catalan club won 4-1 to Rome in the first leg of the Quarterfinals and it seemed that those led by Ernesto Valverde were sure of their place in the Semifinals but the Italians surprised the blaugranas in the return and eliminated them when winning the commitment by 3-0.
In the current campaign, Messi and company met in the Semifinals to Liverpool and again got an advantage of three goals in the first leg at the Camp Nou so many football fans gave little chance to the Anfield team and even their own Jürgen Klopp said it was an “impossible mission.”
But in Anfield, Liverpool starred in one of the most incredible feats of recent years by winning Barcelona 4-0 and leaving them without chances to play the Final. In this way, once again, the Catalans suffered a painful defeat in the competition that he promised to conquer at the beginning of the season.
Meanwhile, the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo is also striking because the Portuguese raised the ‘Orejona’ in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 with the Meringues and this season he said goodbye in Quarterfinals after Juventus could not overcome Ajax, which had eliminated Real Madrid in Octavos.
The situation of the Lusitanian could also be considered a failure because Juventus signed him precisely to win the ‘Orejona’ and although the striker had good performances – it was key for the Italian team to advance to Quarter Finals – it was disappointing for fans of the club will not reach the Final in Madrid.
On June 1, the date of the Champions League Final, fans will not see Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi on the pitch and could mean the beginning of a new era.