Wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to Stay at Real Madrid: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi in a recent interview revealed that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to continue at Real Madrid.
Image Credit: Getty Images.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have come to symbolise sporting rivalry and as they climbed the pinnacle of footballing superstardom in the last decade.
Yet the Barcelona star has accepted that he misses Ronaldo and also admitted that he wanted the Portuguese star to continue at Real Madrid.
Ronaldo had left for Juventus last year.
In a recent interview, Messi said that he used to look forward to their duel on the pitch and said that it gave him an extra push to do better.
"I wanted him to continue with Real Madrid," Messi told RAC1. "He gave a plus to the rivalry in the Clasico and La Liga.
"Real Madrid will continue to challenge because they have very good players, but I already said that the team was going to feel his loss for what he meant and that the squad would notice. But they have plenty of players to allow them to fight for every title and they have a lot of history."
Messi also reflected on the recent disappointment of Barcelona's semi-final loss to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.
"The Liverpool thing was our fault. It came after the Roma incident. We got a mental block as the Rome defeat came to mind.
"We got worse and worse and it wasn't because of the coach," Messi said in defense of head coach Ernesto Valverde.
"The club decided that he should continue and I think that for everyone it was a joy because we support him and love him, like Luis Enrique or the coaches who came before him," Messi added.
Messi, who recently won the FIFA Best Player 2018-19 award, clarified that he is not targeting a record sixth Ballon d'Or, one more than Ronaldo.
"It wouldn't be a disappointment not to win it," Messi said. "These awards are nice recognition, but for me they were never a priority, I would be more disappointed to spend another year without winning the Champions League - it's been five years since we've done it."
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