Lionel Messi: 'I Miss Cristiano Ronaldo In La Liga'
Cristiano Ronaldo's move from La Liga to Serie A has brought down his rivalry with Lionel Messi down a peg and the Argentine has admitted he misses his fellow five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Ronaldo swapped Spain for Italy in a shock £99 million move to Juventus, ending nine years of him and Messi directly raising one another's game through their rivalry in La Liga.
The 34-year old scored 21 goals in his first season at the Bianconeri and his presence was sorely missed by Real Madrid. In fact, as per Transfer Markt, in 2018/19 Real scored 63 goals compared to the 94 they smashed in a season prior with Ronaldo leading the line.
That's a difference of 31 goals - and you might have guessed it - but Ronaldo's La Liga goal contributions (26 goals and five assists in 2017/18) added up to 31.
In 2017-18, Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in :three::one: goals (26 goals, 5 assists).- Goal (@goal) May 19, 2019
Real Madrid scored :nine::four: goals in total.
In 2018-19, Real Madrid scored :six::three: goals. Exactly :three::one: less.
The missing link? :link: pic.twitter.com/lko5MTpw0C
And it's not only Real Madrid who are feeling the effects of Ronaldo's absence, Messi himself has admitted he misses the Portuguese superstar.
"Of course I miss Ronaldo, he made Real Madrid stronger," Messi told Fox Sports, as per Ole.
"I said that they were going to feel the exit of Cristiano, as it would have happened to any team.
"A few people got angry but it's a reality, he scored 50 goals per season for them and it was a key factor in their success. The whole league misses him now."
Messi and Ronaldo's rivalry has always been exaggerated by the media and fans, with the Argentine stating that while they weren't exactly best pals, they had a pretty good relationship.
"It was good for us both, we always wanted to improve ourselves. We did not have much of a relationship. We knew each other only from matches and at award ceremonies, but we always had good vibes and often talk too."
Speaking back in December, Ronaldo claimed Messi needs him more and invited the Argentine to join him in Italy.
"For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy," he said, as per Goal.
"I would like him to come to Italy one day. Like me, accept the challenge.
"However, if he is happy there, I respect him. He is a fantastic player, a good guy but I do not miss anything here. This is my new life and I'm happy."