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'Ronaldo would have made La Liga more difficult for Barcelona', claims Blaugrana defender

16 Mar 2019, 12:50 IST

Juventus v Club de Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Juventus v Club de Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

What's the story?

Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo's presence in the Spanish top flight would have made it more competitive for the Catalan giants this season.

In case you didn't know...

Ronaldo said farewell to Real Madrid last summer, ending the intensity of the rivalry between Los Blancos and Barcelona as his former club continues to struggle in his absence.

Real Madrid has sacked two managers this season, after a series of disappointing results under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari led them to exit the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. The club currently sits twelve points away from league leaders Barcelona in third place.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo is thriving in Italy, with Juventus currently at the top of the Serie A table and in the Champions League quarter-finals courtesy of a record hat-trick from the five-time Ballon d'Or winner himself.

The heart of the matter

Semedo believes that Ronaldo's absence has, in many ways, taken away the intensity of the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid this season.

Speaking to Portuguese TV channel SIC (via Goal), the defender said, "Real Madrid have noticed his absence a lot. I cannot say that it was bad for us that Cristiano left. With him it would have been a more difficult league for us, more competitive."

"He [Ronaldo] is a player that requires a lot of attention and care. Without Lionel Messi we would play well, but not the same."

What's next?

Ronaldo's Juventus will face Ajax in the quarter-final of the Champions League next month. Meanwhile, Barcelona, who also progressed to the quarter-finals courtesy of two goals and two assists from Lionel Messi, will face Manchester United in a much-awaited fixture.

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