Messi and Ronaldo to renew duel

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iol news pic Spain Soccer La Liga~43 AP Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, during their Spanish League soccer match against Osasuna, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Barcelona won the match 5-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

 Barcelona, Spain - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are primed for another memorable showdown when Barcelona and Real Madrid meet Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

 Messi is coming off a four-goal performance over the weekend and has found the back of the net in the last 16 games he has started, while Ronaldo has sparked a recent resurgence in Madrid with 10goals and two hat tricks this month.

 With Barcelona in firm command of the Spanish league title race, the Copa del Rey takes on even more importance for Madrid as it tries to salvage some silverware from its disappointing season.

 Atletico Madrid hosts Sevilla on Thursday in the opening leg of the other semifinal series. -Sapa-AP

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