Lionel Messi a key factor to Ronaldo’s Man United exit
- Lionel Messi and Ronaldo have been regarded as football greats of all time with both pushing each other to the end on the pitch.
- Ronaldo is worried of his failure to participate in a Champions League competition will give Messi the edge to overtake his record there.
- Ronaldo and Messi spent the peak years of their careers going toe-to-toe as the figureheads at Clasico giants Real Madrid and Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo may no longer be a direct rival to Lionel Messi in the club game but that doesn’t mean that the Manchester United man does not remain in competition with the Argentine in the race to adorn the footballing history books.
Indeed, Ronaldo’s desire to leave Man Utd is partially fuelled by his ongoing obsession to be a record breaker, according to an article published by The Athletic.
Ronaldo and Messi spent the peak years of their careers going toe-to-toe as the figureheads at Clasico giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, during which time they achieved extraordinary scoring feats and appeared to be driven to even greater heights by each other.
Although both players have now departed Spain, Ronaldo, to Man United via Juventus and Messi to PSG, the long-running desire to be the greatest remains.
Indeed, it is stated that the Portuguese international is being driven to play Champions League football next season by the fear that Messi may overtake one of the most important records that he holds: the leading scorer in the competition’s history.
Ronaldo’s Champions League record under threat
Ronaldo has scored 140 Champions League goals in his career, but with Messi just 15 strikes behind and two years younger than the Man United striker, he appears to fear that record could be whittled away by the PSG striker.
It is added that Cristiano Ronaldo also wants to become the leading marksman in the group stage of the competition, though he lags Messi by three goals in this respect.
Each year away from the Champions League is, therefore, a blow for Ronaldo, who clearly expects Messi to raise his game after a relatively disappointing first season at PSG, where he still mustered five goals in Europe’s leading club competition.
Publicly, Ronaldo has dismissed “lies” that he wants to move away from Manchester United, but privately it is widely accepted that the 37-year-old wants a transfer due to the Red Devils’ lack of competitiveness at the top of the game. However, finding a buyer for the veteran star continues to prove elusive.