Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has weakened Real Madrid and admitted to missing the Portuguese international.
The Argentinian faced absolutely no competition in winning the Pichichi this season, with Ronaldo plying trades for Juventus.
Messi explained that Ronaldo’s exit hurt Madrid, just like it could have happened to any team.
“Of course I miss Ronaldo, he made Real Madrid stronger. I said that they were going to feel the exit of Cristiano, as it would have happened to any team,” Messi told FOX Sports.
He added: “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.”
Arguably two of the greatest of this generation, the pair have always had mutual respect and agreed upon how both of them push each other to improve. Messi reiterated on how there is nothing but good vibes surrounding them.
“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,” he concluded.
Belgium national team manager and former Everton boss Roberto Martinez refused to provide any clarity regarding his future without consulting the Belgian football federation first.
Martinez is one of the candidates for the Barcelona job, which is reportedly going to be left vacant in the next few days with Ernesto Valverde likely to face the sack.
Martinez is one among various candidates that include Netherlands national team boss Ronald Koeman and former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.
The current Belgium manager refused to talk about his future without speaking to the federation first.
“I won’t say yes to any team without first talking with [the president of the Royal Belgian Football Federation,] Bart [Verhaeghe,] and [the vice-president,] Mehdi [Bayat],” he said, according to Marca.
Martinez led Belgium to the semi-final of 2018 World Cup after a promising run. The Belgian Red Devils ensured a come-back win over Japan in the last-16 and a convincing win over favourites Brazil in the quarter-final.
Netherlands national team coach Ronald Koeman has refused to rule out the possibility of coaching Barcelona in the near future.
After a disappointing end to what could have been a historic season, Ernesto Valverde’s future is reportedly in the air. The Basque coach saw his team suffer humiliating defeats at the hands of Liverpool in the Champions League and Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.
This initiated rumours that he will be relieved of his duties as manager. Koeman is one of the candidates tipped to take over.
However, the current Dutch coach refused to talk about anything but the Nations League semi-final.
“That would be very easy, but I will not,” responded Koeman, as reported by Marca, when asked whether he would assure the Dutch public that he would remain as Oranje head coach.
“I think this [press conference] is about the Dutch national team, so I would like to leave it at that.”