The Portuguese superstar moved to Turin in a €112million transfer in July and Messi believes Madrid will sorely miss his services.
The Barcelona star told Catalunya Radio on Monday: “Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world with a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo makes them less good and makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League.”
New Los Blancos boss Lopetegui however responded to Messi on when he told Onda Cero: “I would not doubt the players of Real Madrid.
“We have done okay but it is only the start and we have three weeks ahead with the Champions League.
“We have achieved the aim of nine points and now we need to reflect. The players need to come back fit and we will see what happens.”
The Spaniard insists that the reigning European champions and La Liga giants intend to compete for every trophy.
“We want to win everything”
“Our target is everything this season. With the league you have to always be on form and it rewards consistency but we want to win everything.”
Lopetegui also revealed that he did not have a conversation with Ronaldo prior to his departure.
“I did not speak to him, it was a situation where he had already decided to leave and the club went along with this for a player who had been tremendous. They allowed this desire and restlessness that he had.
“I expressed from the start [the players I wanted]. I thought the squad was fantastic, the players are very good in all areas of the pitch and are capable to compete for titles.”
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