Lionel Messi has revealed that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to continue at Real Madrid as his decade-long’s rival at the Bernabeu gave more credence to the Spanish Laliga.
The Argentina International admitted that he wanted the Portugese icon to remain at Real Madrid rather than make way to Juventus in the Serie A.
Both players have set the benchmark for individual standards so high over the past decade, raking in individual and team accolades and smashing goal scoring records year in, year out.
Their rivalry reached at its peak when Ronaldo moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid, with the El Clasico featuring the best players of the past decade.
Messi who recently lifted the FIFA The Best prize said he regrets his main rival’s decision to move to Turin.
“I wanted him to continue with Real Madrid,” the 32-year-old 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.”
Despite having a shelf full of laurels, Lionel Messi isn’t without regrets, chief of which is their dramatic loss to Liverpool who drubbed them 4-0 in their UCL return leg having been beaten 3-0 in the first leg, taking the Reds through to the finals.
“The Liverpool thing was our fault,” he said, defending head coach Ernesto Valverde, who came under pressure after that defeat that has never truly lifted.
“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.
“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.”