END OF ERA Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo miss out on Champions League quarter-finals for first time since 2005

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will both be missing from the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years.

Ronaldo’s Juventus crashed out of the tournament on Tuesday as ten-man Porto stunned the Italian giants in extra time to seal their place in the quarter-finals.

The Portugal superstar was criticised for turning his back on a free-kick to allow Sergio Oliveira to hit the crucial goal through his legs and past Wojciech Szczęsny at the Allianz Stadium.

Messi, meanwhile, scored a long-range stunner and missed a penalty as Barcelona drew 1-1 with PSG on Wednesday night and lost 5-2 on aggregate.

It means the two footballing phenomenons will play no part in the quarter-final stage of the competition for the first time since 2005.

To put that into perspective, back in 2005, neither Messi or Ronaldo had even played in a FIFA World Cup, George W. Bush was in the the beginning of his second term as president of the United States and the world was dealing with a differently deadly virus: the bird flu.

Barcelona’s defeat also compounded the Spanish giants to their earliest Champions League exit in 14 years.

Liverpool were the last team to deny the five-time winners a place in the Champions League quarter-finals when they won a last-16 tie on away goals during the 2006-07 campaign.

The ensuing years have seen Barca win the trophy on three occasions, and go out in the semi-finals and quarter-finals five times each.

PSG may be buoyed by the fact that six sides who have dumped the LaLiga outfit out of the competition during that period have gone on to lift the trophy.

Messi’s misery was compounded even more on Wednesday evening as his opponent Kylian Mbappe broke one of his long-standing records.

Mbappe, at 22 years and 80 days, became the fastest player EVER to score 25 Champions League goals.

The PSG ace will be wary, however, as Erling Haaland is right on his tail (with 20 strikes already) and is two years his junior.




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