Mourinho: Messi & Ronaldo meet in a UCL quarter-final tie would be a waste



Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Italian Serie A football match Parma vs Juventus on September 1, 2018 at Ennio Tardini stadium in Parma. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho wants two all-Premier League ties in the Champions League last eight – but hopes Barcelona avoid Juventus in the draw.

Jose Mourinho hoped Barcelona and Juventus would be kept apart in the Champions League draw, describing it as a “waste” to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo meet in a quarter-final tie.

Once regular rivals in LaLiga, the duo could have been pitted against each other after both their teams qualified for the last eight.

Ronaldo hit a hat-trick on Tuesday to help Juventus overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Atletico Madrid, with Messi admitting he was “impressed” by the Portuguese forward’s performance.

The Argentina star dazzled 24 hours later in Barcelona’s crushing 5-1 win over Lyon, scoring twice at Camp Nou, but Mourinho feels the two legendary names should not meet in the competition until at least the last four.

“I wouldn’t like Juventus against Barcelona [in the quarter-finals] because I think it would be something really special Barcelona against Juventus in a possible final or semi-final,” Mourinho told RT.

“Two great teams that are not being successful in the Champions League for a few years, of course Juventus so much more than Barcelona.

“And led by two big players Cristiano and Messi is something I wouldn’t waste on a quarter-final, I would wait a little bit more.”

Instead, Mourinho wanted to see two all-English ties in the next round, with Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all still in contention.

The Portuguese also revealed his desire to see Ajax – who ended Real Madrid’s Champions League reign in the last 16 – and Porto paired together, which would have meant one of those clubs would be sure of a place in the semi-finals.

“I would like English teams to play against each other, without any kind of preference,” the former Chelsea and United boss said before the draw.

“But I would do two matches between English teams, which would mean two teams would be in the semi-finals.

“I think if the draw gives something like Manchester City versus Manchester United, or Tottenham against Liverpool, for example, I think would be absolutely fantastic matches.

“My second choice would be not by tactical or emotional reasons but by what I think would be fantastic extra motivation I would do Ajax v Porto, as that would mean one of them reach the semi-finals.

“They are doing so, so well during the competition that I think it would be amazing for one of them. It would be amazing for Portugal as a country, Netherlands as a country, to have a team in the semi-final.”