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Lionel Messi

Ancelotti: Messi & Ronaldo the difference in Champions League

2:02 PM GMT 17/03/2018
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Lionel Messi Barcelona
A former manager at Real Madrid believes the Blancos and Barcelona are favourites for European glory due to boasting the world's best players

The mere presence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo makes Barcelona and Real Madrid favourites for Champions League glory, says Carlo Ancelotti.

Both the Blaugrana and the Blancos are safely through to the quarter-finals of this season’s competition.

Their talismanic forwards have led the charge, with Messi bagging a brace against Chelsea in the last-16 to take his goal tally to six while eternal rival Ronaldo leads the scoring charts on 12.

Both men are now members of the elite 100-goal club in the Champions League and Ancelotti, who has conquered Europe as a player and coach, believes they will prove to be the difference once again in the pursuit of continental glory.

The Italian said: "Clearly Champions League games are decided by the smallest of details and in a one-off game it is sufficient for a refereeing decision to knock someone out.

"Madrid and Barcelona are favourites for their experience and because they have Ronaldo and Messi.

"It is clear [Juventus and Roma] are not favourites because they are up against two European powers but they still will have their chances."

Real have been paired with Serie A champions Juventus in the last eight, in what will be a repeat of last season’s final.

Barca, meanwhile, will take on Roma as they seek to break the dominance being enjoyed by their arch-rivals in Europe.

The Blancos have lifted the famous jug-eared trophy in each of the last two seasons – and three of the last four campaigns – and have their sights set on a notable hat-trick.