When Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi take the Champions League field this week for their respective teams, victory will be the only thing on their minds.
Ronaldo's Real Madrid is playing an interesting home fixture against Galatasaray—one they really should win but also one that presents grave danger for the Spanish side given the attacking prowess that the Turkish champions have shown through the tournament so far.
By comparison, Messi's Barcelona will play away from home against Paris St. Germain, who, through Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura, boast some of the most lethal attackers in world football. They too are seemingly in for a long night this week.
However, whilst their eyes will firmly be fixed on achieving success this week and again when the second leg rolls around, ours are already gazing forward.
Given all that the pair has achieved over the past few years for their respective teams, it seems only fair that we offer them the assumption that they will indeed progress through these games and into their respective semifinals, where they could indeed draw each other.
And whilst that might seem like the dream matchup, the reality is that it isn't; the best possible matchup would come several weeks later at Wembley.
Pairing these two together in the Champions League Final would be the ultimate matchup for football fans around the world to see. Moreover, it would allow the two best players in the world, on two of the best teams in the world, to play on the biggest stage in the world for the greatest trophy of them all.
To me, that sounds pretty spectacular.
Every time the two clash in La Liga or in Copa del Rey, the El Clasico gets incredible attention around the globe—and rarely fails to disappoint, either.
The matches are always thrilling, end-to-end affairs that see plenty of attacking chances for both teams as they show just how beautiful football can be.
Surely that is the model game that the world wants to see in the Champions League final? Surely another El Clasico would be the greatest representation of the European tournament and indeed world football as a whole—one that will show the game for how great it truly is?
The Champions League final is always one of the most-watched sporting events in the world—yes, more than the Super Bowl—so having the biggest names of the sport in Ronaldo and Messi lining up for that game would be the greatest thing for those watching the game.
However, that's not the biggest reason of them all.
If Ronaldo took on Messi in the Champions League final, we could very well see the end of the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate that dominates world football.
Of course, it would never end (it seems it's going to remain a part of the game forever), but the reality is that it would be a defining moment in the rivalry. You could make the same argument for Madrid and Barcelona as teams, with the game revealing who the stronger team is.
Again, the rivalry wouldn't end, but it would definitely tell us a few things about the players and both teams in them that could not be disputed. After all, there would be one winner and one loser, and that would be that for all involved.
If Messi and Ronaldo were billed to play each other, we'd finally get to see how the two would fare against each other in the biggest game of their lives.
For the sport as a whole, that would be incredible.
It's only a pipe dream for now, with much work still to be done by both players and teams to make it all the way to Wembley Stadium. And with dominant teams awaiting like Bayern Munich or Juventus, or even Borussia Dortmund, the semifinals certainly wouldn't be an easy task.
But seeing these two play each other would be the greatest.
Greatest for the sport. Greatest for the millions of viewers around the world. And greatest for those of us who are simply fascinated to see which player will emerge triumphant on the night.
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