‘I miss Cristiano’: Lionel Messi admits he wishes Ronaldo was still in La Liga as former Real Madrid man gave division ‘prestige’
- Lionel Messi has admitted he wishes Cristiano Ronaldo was still in La Liga
- Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus last summer in a staggering £100m deal
- The move ended his nine-year tussle for supremacy in Spain with the Argentine
They were bitter rivals for so many glorious years on the pitch in Spain and Lionel Messi has now admitted he wishes Cristiano Ronaldo was still in La Liga.
Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus last summer in a staggering £100million deal and, in doing so, ended his nine-year tussle for supremacy in Spain with Barcelona’s No 10.
Messi and Ronaldo are considered two of the greatest players of all-time and the Argentine has now said he misses having Ronaldo to compete against in La Liga, insisting the former Manchester United star brought some ‘prestige’ to the division.
Lionel Messi has admitted he wishes former rival Cristiano Ronaldo was still in La Liga
‘I miss Cristiano,’ Messi told FM Club 947 in Argentina. ‘Although it was a bit difficult to see him win trophies, he gave La Liga prestige.
‘Juventus are a great candidate to win the Champions League since the arrival of Cristiano, and the match against Atleti must have given them a lot of confidence.’
Real find themselves trailing Barcelona by 12 points at the summit of La Liga while they were knocked out of the Champions League in the last-16 stage as their failure to adequately replace Ronaldo in the summer continues to haunt them.
The Barcelona captain also went on to name a list of players who he feels are at the top of their game at the moment.
‘I don’t want to forget anyone, but I think that Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Eden] Hazard, Luis Suarez and [Sergio] Aguero are the best,’ he added.
‘I didn’t mention Cristiano because I put him aside from the list with me.’
Messi and Ronaldo played out a nine-year tussle for supremacy in Spain before he left
Messi also suggested he is not 100 per cent fit, just two weeks before facing Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He was livid at the most recent criticism of him after he pulled out of Argentina’s win over Morocco this week and travelled back to Barcelona.
‘Somebody says whatever they want to say about me and then people believe it and I’m painted as the son of a b****,’ he said.
‘It has become the custom to say things about me. They invent things about me when I am not there. Nothing surprises me.
‘The truth is I came back to the Argentina team with a pubis injury that I have been carrying since December and I have been training less and not playing all games.
‘Pubis injuries are complicated; you cannot shake them off from one day to the next. I feel better but I have to take care of myself.
‘I wanted to play both games with Argentina but after the first game I had some pain and I decided to rest so as not to aggravate the injury. It is improving all the time but it is not completely cleared up.’