Jose Mourinho says he does not want Juventus to draw Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League – in order for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid playing each other.
The two greatest players of the modern era could be on a collision course to meet for the first time since Ronaldo’s summer move from Real Madrid to Turin.
Messi and Ronaldo faced off in plentiful Clasico matches but are now restricted to competitive meetings at Europe’s top table.
But Mourinho believes it would be a “waste” for the match to happen in the last eight.
“I wouldn’t like Juventus against Barcelona because I think it would be something really special Barcelona against Juventus in a possible final or semi-final,” he said.
“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.”
Four English teams make up half of the quarter-final line-up, and Mourinho is hoping for an all-Manchester clash in the last eight.
“I would like English teams to play against each other, without any kind of preference,” he added.
“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.”