When big teams collide, the tie is decided on individual battles that occur on the pitch. Because of the Champions League, fans and the footballing world are able to witness such matches between big clubs, and hence, gives us all an opportunity to watch battles unfold on the pitch; battles we may not have imagined would materialize.
One such battle that the world wanted and now, has the privilege of witnessing (bar any calamity), is the face-off between Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk (VVD).
Fates were learnt when the fixtures for the quarter-finals were announced; as Barca faced Man Utd and Liverpool faced Porto, the winner of each fixture would face each other in the semis. With Barca defeating United and Liverpool demolishing Porto, the two victors face off against each other in the semi-finals.
This brings us to the clash of the titans, both at club level and at player level. Currently regarded as two of the best footballing teams in the world, one thing is guaranteed that this fixture is going to live up to its hype. But what fans are really looking forward to is the battle between Messi and VVD.
Messi is currently the top scorer in all leagues across Europe, registering 45 goals and 21 assists in all competitions.
VVD on the other hand, is the polar opposite of Messi’s scoring prowess. Having started all of Liverpool’s league games, keeping 17 clean sheets, he is widely regarded as the world’s best defender currently.
On the one hand, there is a goal-machine and an impact player, on the other, there’s calmness personified and solidarity in defense. Both players are contenders for the Ballon D’Or, and this really is the best versus the best, and fans are drooling over this clash.
Lionel Messi has completed 139 take-ons in LaLiga and the Champions League this season.
Virgil van Dijk has not been successfully dribbled past in the Premier League or Champions League this season.
We can't wait.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 17, 2019
To quote the Joker, “this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.” It really is a feast for the eyes of all those watching. Who will come out on top? Will it be the Catalans, or the Merseysiders? Regardless of the victor, the clash between Messi and Van Dijk, and the fixture as a whole, has got us all licking our lips!