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Antonio Di Gennaro, who played for Italy during the 1986 World Cup, was commentating on Italian TV on Thursday when he reflected on Juve's Champions League exit at the hands of Porto. The 62-year-old explained that he did not feel Ronaldo's achievements lived up to Messi's.
"The years go by for everyone, and I think Cristiano Ronaldo has disappointed more than Messi," Di Gennaro said on TV network RAI, as reported by Marca.
"I've never seen him so out of the game. With all due respect to Porto, but an elimination like this has to be analysed very carefully, and as great a club as Juve are, they will have to understand what happens next year."
Ronaldo's performance as Juventus departed the Champions League on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw was widely criticised. The 36-year-old failed to score in either leg and could not stop the crucial extra-time free-kick which gave Porto their advantage in Turin.
THIS IS TRULY INCREDIBLE!!!!- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2021
Sérgio Oliveira scores for 10-man Porto and the visitors are on the brink of going through!
WHAT. A. GAME! pic.twitter.com/PkUAlrfxd5
Messi's Barcelona also exited the competition at the last-16 stage, with a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, while Messi missed a penalty in the second-leg 1-1 draw in Paris, his overall contribution was praised and he scored a long-range thunderbolt to briefly give Barca hope in the first half.
Wow, what a hit from Lionel Messi! :rocket:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 10, 2021
He smashes an absolute missile into the back of the net from 25 yards out!
Top corner, no messing about :clap: pic.twitter.com/eJXAtShGjr
Perhaps this is what Di Gennaro when he claims Ronaldo is "so out of the game", as the Portuguese attacker has refined his play to be more of a pure goalscorer than the all-action attacker he was at Manchester United and through most of his illustrious Real Madrid career.
With five Champions League titles to his name, Ronaldo has hardly been a long-term disappointment. But - while the goals have flowed for him at Juventus - the view has always been that he was signed to help the Old Lady finally win a third European crown.
Yet since 2018, Juventus have failed to get past the quarter-final stage, even with Ronaldo in the side.
This marks the first year since 2004/05 that neither one of Messi or Ronaldo have been in a Champions League quarter-final.
Although some fans have pointed out that, as Ronaldo is over two years older than than the 33-year-old Messi, it isn't fair to compare them like-for-like during this stage of their careers.
All imagery: PA Images
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