Rivaldo Exclusive: This Barcelona side aren't Champions League contenders

Ronaldo Koeman and Lionel Messi
Koeman's Barca must go for the win in Turin

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo looks forward to tonight's Juventus v Barcelona clash, slams VAR and welcomes Barca president Josep Bartomeu's resignation...

"I’m not seeing the classic Barcelona of old and I don't have much confidence in them this season. They aren’t showing enough chemistry to fight for the Champions League title."

There's a long way to go this season but so far I haven't seen the classic Barcelona of old. I don't have much confidence in this team and think they aren't showing enough chemistry to fight for the Champions League title.

They can battle for La Liga with Real and Atletico Madrid because they still have great players and a big aura in Spain, but I'm not so confident about Barca's chances among Europe's elite.

Ronaldo absence is big boost for Barca

Cristiano Ronaldo won't be available for tonight's Juventus v Barcelona clash in the Champions League and, while I would have loved to see him take on Lionel Messi again, the Portuguese's absence is good news for my old club.

We've seen in the last few weeks in Serie A how important Ronaldo is to Juve as the Italian champions have had two disappointing results.

Ronaldo has a deep knowledge of Spanish football and of Barcelona from his time at Real Madrid. He scored many times against Barca and if he had played, he would have given extra confidence and motivation to his teammates.


Ronald Koeman shouldn't use a special strategy for beating Juve, but instead let Barca play to their own strengths.

Juventus might be the better team at the moment but there's very little in it and Barca continue to be a huge club with good players. It's important they react to Saturday's defeat to Real Madrid and go for the win in Italy.

Messi and Ronaldo will meet again

I believe Messi and Ronaldo will face each other another time, either when Juve travel to Camp Nou in a few weeks or in a possible international friendly between Argentina and Portugal.

Another factor that makes me confident about more reunions between the two greats could be their longevity. Just like me, Messi and Ronaldo seem to enjoy it a lot when they are on the pitch and neither of sustain many injuries. I wouldn't be surprised if both can still play at 40-years old, and if that's the case I'm sure we'll see them meeting again.

Messi and Ronaldo - 1280.jpg

Instead of most players who retired and went on to miss playing football a lot, I played right up to my limit, so that I didn't miss football too much once I retired. I think Messi and Ronaldo can do similar while their legs hold up and they can continue to amaze us a bit more.

Sergio Ramos penalty showed VAR is bad for football

There was plenty of discussion about Madrid's VAR penalty in El Clasico. As I've said before, I'm against VAR because of its lack of clarity and consistency.


In this case, it was tough to say if it was a penalty or not, but we've been seeing many mistakes around the world, including in the Champions League, that shouldn't be occurring.

The purpose of VAR was to cut out the mistakes, but we are not seeing as many right decisions as we were expecting and that's sad. It is not adding value to football.

Bartomeu stepping down at Barça was right decision

The uncertainty around the future of Josep Bartomeu, who resigned as Barcelona president last night, was causing instability at the club. In the end, it became inevitable that he had to step down. There were so many critics, I believe it was the right decision to finally solve the situation and let the club go forward.

I'm sure Bartomeu wanted the best for the club, but it was a good decision to face the situation once and for all by quitting. The club needs stability and the focus must return to the football, the longer this process continued the worst it would have been for the club. Now we can all look to the future and the football.

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