Real Madrid less effective without Ronaldo, says Messi

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to quit Real Madrid and sign for Italian champions Juventus.

Ronaldo joined Juventus in July for £105m, a move that left many in shock.

Speaking to Catalunya Radio, Messi said that Cristiano’s sudden move surprised him and that he did not imagine the Portuguese star leaving Madrid. “It surprised me (when he left). I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus.”

The Argentine added that Ronaldo has joined a good team in Juventus and his inclusion in the club makes it one of the favourites to win the UEFA Champions League.

Messi also shared his opinion regarding arch-rivals Real Madrid saying that they will be ‘less good’ without Ronaldo and that Juventus’ chances to win the UCL will soar.

Also read: 4 times Messi proved he is the GOAT

Speaking about Barcelona’s UCL run during the past few years, Messi said that the club has been knocked-out in the quarter-finals for the past three years, but the squad is good-enough to win the competition.

“We have been eliminated for the past three UCL seasons in the quarter-finals. The Roma defeat hurt the most, but we have a good squad and we’re looking forward.”

He also lauded newly-signed Brazilian midfielder Arthur saying that he is similar to club legend Xavi Hernandez. “I did not know about Arthur before we signed him, but having seen him play, I can say he’s similar to Xavi.”

Spanish champions Barcelona wreaked havoc against newly-promoted Huesca on Sunday with a 8-2 win. Captain Messi and forward Luis Suarez scored a brace each, while Ivan Rakitic, Ousmanne Dembele and Jordi Alba also contributed.