Lionel Messi has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid to Juventus left him stunned. In a revealing interview, the Argentine superstar also claimed the Old Lady are now big favourites for this season’s Champions League, while Barcelona’s bitter rivals Madrid have been rendered significantly weaker by the switch.
“Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them less good,” Messi told Catalunya Radio. “And it makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League. “It surprised me [when he left]. I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus. There were a lot of teams that wanted him. It surprised me, but he has gone to a very good team.”
Messi has gone three seasons without winning the Champions League and believes winning Europe’s elite club competition again has to be Barcelona’s main goal this season.
“It’s time [to win it again].
“We have been knocked out in the quarterfinals in the last three seasons. Last season’s result in Rome hurt especially, but we have a spectacular squad and we can fight for it [this season].”