Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's rivalry is perhaps football's greatest story of the 21st century. The duo have been pushing each other to perform at a higher level for a decade now. They played in the same league (La Liga) for 9 long years (2009-2018), and entertained fans worldwide.
However, post the the 2017-18 season, Cristiano Ronaldo decided to leave Real Madrid to join Serie A champions Juventus. Since then La Liga's attraction has dwindled. More of the same is expected to happen if Lionel Messi decides to leave Barcelona this summer.
However, SD Huesca captain Jorge Pulido believes La Liga will continue to thrive even if Lionel Messi decides to leave.
"Nothing changed when Cristiano Ronaldo left, same with Lionel Messi" - Jorge Pulido
The current captain of Huesca, Jorge Pulido, doesn't think that the popularity of La Liga will change even if Lionel Messi decides to leave the Spanish first division. Speaking with Insider, the former Atletico Madrid man had the following things to say:
"Cristiano Ronaldo left, and it seemed like it was going to be a complete collapse, but nothing's changed.”
Despite Messi being La Liga's record goalscorer and arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Jorge Pulido has suggested that no player can be considered bigger than the team or the league they play in. Pulido said:
"I think that La Liga is stronger than a single player. It would be wonderful to have the best players here in Spain, but I think La Liga is over and above any player or any individual."
Lionel Messi was on the brink of leaving Barcelona last season after falling out with the club's hierarchy. Manchester City were interested in signing the 33-year old winger. However, the move never transpired.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has a different view of Messi's proposed departure. Tebas has said:
"Cristiano's departure, even though it annoyed Madrid, had almost no impact because La Liga has spent years ensuring that the brand transcends the players."
"But Messi's case is different. Messi is the best player in the history of the game. We have been lucky to have him in La Liga for his whole career."
With Barcelona's financial turmoil yet to be resolved, it might not be surprising to see Messi leave Spain this summer.
The Argentine's contract will be over at the end of this season and the club are yet to convince Messi to sign an extension.