Lionel Messi summed up Real Madrid's problem this season and that's Cristiano Ronaldo
It is rightly said that time and tide waits for none. Often, we realize the value of moments when they pass us by. As one of the greatest rivalries in the world is slowly and sadly coming to an end, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are constantly reminding us what football fans all over the world will miss in the future.
Although being center of the fiercest rivalries in club football for almost a decade, the mutual respect between these two extraterrestrial beings increased over the past few years. The controversial rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona were a notch higher a few years back. Both Messi and Cristiano were the talisman of their respective teams and were the center of things filled with controversies.
But lately, both these players have become more mature than they were a few years ago. After all, they are in their 30s now. Both of them admitted that both these players inspired them to push their own limits and test their own boundaries to become better players and earned the mutual respect of each other in the process.
In a recent interview with Spanish outlet Marca, when he was asked whether Real Madrid missing surprises him or not, Lionel Messi replied:
"At the beginning of the season I said they are a great club, one of the best in the world and with a lot of great players, but anyone would miss Cristiano. He scores a lot of goals and gives you many other things so it doesn't surprise me."
In a few sentences, Lionel Messi summarized what went wrong with Real Madrid this season so far.
It is no secret that a team will always miss someone like Cristiano Ronaldo. Moreover, Cristiano is the greatest goalscorer and he reached that milestones in comparatively lesser time than other greats. His staggering exploits with Real Madrid needs no introduction.
But what's actually hurting Real Madrid is how carelessly they treated the departure of the greatest among their all-time greats. They brought in Mariano, who is still inexperienced and was not tested against tough opponents in the toughest of stages. The responsibility was on Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio to step up but evidently, they are yet to have the same impact as the great man.
Moreover, Cristiano Ronaldo was absolutely pivotal for them at times of need. Whenever the team needed him, he popped up with vital goals even if the team were not at the very best that match. He is proving his impact with Juventus and single-handedly, kept their unbeaten run in the Seria A.
The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo was intimidating to rival defenders, too. It is safe to say that the current Real Madrid forwards are not that much of a threat. As Lionel Messi himself said, Real Madrid are still a great team and remains one of the best clubs of the world but they are bound to miss their greatest goalscorer of all time.
Although with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from La Liga to Seria A, dampens the prospects of rivalry between these two modern greats, they are not done yet. It is normal that after all these years of inhumane competitiveness, the rivalry will end in near future but they are still setting the bar up high constantly and earning the respect of each other in their 30s.