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'Replacing Messi will be harder for Barcelona than replacing Ronaldo', says former Barcelona striker

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:37 IST

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga

What's the story?

Former Barcelona forward Sonny Anderson believes that it would be far more difficult to replace current Blaugrana captain Lionel Messi than it was to replace Brazilian legend Ronaldo.

In case you didn't know...

Anderson himself came to Camp Nou in 1997 as a replacement for his compatriot Ronaldo, who left the Catalan giants to join Inter.

However, the former Brazil international had a difficult time trying to replicate the success that O Fenômeno had enjoyed in his career.

Ronaldo's many individual achievements include winning the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002 and the Ballon d'Or in 1997 and 2002.

The heart of the matter

Despite Ronaldo's legendary status, Anderson still believes that Barcelona will have a harder time trying to replace Messi.

Speaking to Goal, the former Blaugrana striker said, "For me, it was a very difficult time because when I arrived, I cost more money than Ronaldo and the fans expected from me a similar performance."

"Ronaldo was a unique player and the fans didn't know much about me because I played in France. After Messi leaves, the player who replaces the No.10 shirt at Barcelona will have an even more difficult time of it than I did."

Anderson further stated that then-coach Louis van Gaal's tactics were not made for strikers: "I already said at the time, I did not come to replace Ronaldo because it was a new project and very different, but it did not work out as I expected and [then-coach Louis] Van Gaal's system was not designed for the striker to score many goals."

What's next?

After extending their lead at the top of the table in La Liga, Barcelona are next scheduled to face Lyon in the Champions League Round of 16 fixture on Tuesday night. 

Published 18 Feb 2019, 21:22 IST
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