Argentina claims that the Portuguese presence gave the league and El Clasico star quality while not seeking more Balloon d’Or Glory Barcelona star Lionel Messi admitted that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to stay with Real Madrid, CmaTrends reports.
The pair set the standard for individual performance over the last decade, setting rafts of record scores and winning individual awards over that period.
The animosity hit its peak when the pair went toe-to-toe for the two Clasico rivals, while Ronaldo left Spain in the summer of 2018 to move to Juventus.
Messi regrets the decision of his opponent and says that the participation of Portugal International was used to add an extra dimension to the game.
“I wanted him to stay with Real Madrid,” said Messi to RAC1. “In the Clasico and La Liga, he gave a plus to rivalry.
“Real Madrid will keep challenging because they have very good players, but I’ve already said that the team will feel the defeat because of what it means and that the team will realize. But they’ve got a lot of players to let them compete for every title, and they’ve got a lot of history.
In spite of the glittering array of awards he has won in his career, Messi is not without disappointment–most notably the semi-final exit of the Champions League to Liverpool last season, when they allowed their opponents to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the first leg.
“The Liverpool thing was our fault,” he said, defending head coach Ernesto Valverde, who came under pressure after the loss that had never really been raised. “This came after the incident with the Roma. We had a mental block as the fall of Rome came to mind.
“We got worse and worse, not because of the coach.
“The club has decided that he should start, and I think it was a pleasure for everyone, because we value him and love him, like Luis Enrique or the coaches who came before him.” Meanwhile, Messi, who recently won the FIFA Best Male Player Award for the 2018-19 season, is not seeking the sixth Ballon d’Or record, which would put him ahead of Ronaldo in that respect.
“It wouldn’t be a disappointment not to qualify,” he said. “These trophies are great rewards, but for me they’ve never been a priority, I’d be more upset to go another year without winning the Champions League–it’s been five years since we did it.”