For the first time since 2013, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in the UEFA Champions League final.
Messi’s Barcelona capitulated at the hands of Liverpool on Wednesday (AEST), losing the semi-final second leg 4-0 to go down 4-3 on aggregate.
That shock result ended an astonishing run of dominance for the star duo when it comes to Europe’s top club competition. Since 2013, one of Messi or Ronaldo were involved in five successive finals – with the latter winning three straight titles and four in total.
But Ronaldo, who left holders Real Madrid at the start of the season, saw his Juventus team crash out at the quarter-final stage to Ajax in the 2018-19 tournament.
And Messi was unable to maintain the streak as La Liga champions Barca – last winners of the competition in 2015 – were sensationally beaten at Anfield despite holding a three-goal first-leg lead.
Messi and Ronaldo also saw their streak of being the only two players to win the Ballon d’Or for a 10-year period end when Luka Modric claimed the 2018 award.
Liverpool will meet either Ajax or Tottenham in this year’s Champions League final, which will be held in Madrid on June 2.
The last final without Messi and Ronaldo saw Bayern Munich defeat Borussia Dortmund – then managed by current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – in an all-German clash at Wembley.
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