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Ronaldo was 'motivated' to face his 'eternal rival' Messi, reveals Pirlo

03:48 GMT 09/12/2020
Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus, Champions League 2020-21
The Old Lady's coach discussed his talisman's two-goal performance against the Catalans on Tuesday

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo said Cristiano Ronaldo was very motivated to face "eternal rival" Lionel Messi after his brace inspired a 3-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League.

Ronaldo and Messi faced each other in the Champions League for the first time since 2011 and the former came out on top at Camp Nou, where Juve displaced Barca to claim Group G on Tuesday.

Juve superstar Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid in 2018, became the first player in Champions League history to score two penalties in a single game against Barca, while Weston McKennie was also on target.

Ronaldo also took his tally to 14 goals in his past 13 visits to Barca in all competitions, more than any other away ground in his club senior career.

While Ronaldo downplayed his rivalry with Messi post-match, Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia: "Ronaldo was very motivated to put in a good performance here against his eternal rival, so when you're that motivated, it becomes simple.

"There are many games in a season and it's easier to get fired up for fixtures like this, but we mustn't lose sight of the real target, which is Serie A, so we have to be this concentrated and committed there too."

Juve put beleaguered La Liga outfit Barca to the sword – Ronald Koeman's side conceding three goals in a Champions League home game for the first time since May 2013, and in a home group-stage fixture for the first time since December 2008.

The result also meant Barca failed to finish top of a Champions League group for the first time since 2006-07, while Juventus became the first ever Italian side to score three-plus away goals against the Spanish giants in UEFA competition.

"It was important for our journey that we pick up where we left off in the derby. When you start with that focus, concentration and determination, then the quality emerges," said Pirlo, whose Juve are fourth in Serie A.

"We had prepared the match to create superiority in midfield with three against their two, the midfielders like McKennie able to push up, as we knew they had difficulty stopping them pushing up through the middle.

"The tactical plan worked and then the players did really well to make the most of the scoring opportunities."