Lionel Messi had a good idea how Cristiano Ronaldo’s season would turn out as the Paris Saint-Germain gave his thoughts on his rival’s move to Manchester United at the end of last year
Lionel Messi predicted a topsy turvy season for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United due to the uncertain nature of the Premier League.
The pair would both move clubs in the same transfer window last summer as Messi sealed a stunning switch to Paris Saint-Germain, while Ronaldo secured a dream return to Old Trafford.
It’s not quite gone according to plan for the duo, who are widely considered the two greatest players of all time.
Messi is uncharacteristically in the midst of a goal drought with PSG which continued midweek as Thibaut Courtois denied the Argentine from the spot in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid, before Kylian Mbappe spared his blushes with a stoppage-time winner.
Ronaldo has had difficulty settling in with his new employers too.
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The Portugal star has been able to find the net on a regular basis, minus a recent mini-slump, but it’s the issues United are experiencing as a team on and off the pitch that are the main concern.
United parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to their struggles and interim boss Ralf Rangnick has been unable to turn things around.
There have been continuous claims of a dressing room divide as Mirror Sport revealed Ronaldo is embroiled in a power struggle with Harry Maguire over the captaincy.
Messi might not have foreseen these issues coming at United, but there was no doubt in his mind that it was going to be an up and down season for Ronaldo with plenty of twists in turns on his return to the Premier League.
The Barcelona legends reckoned “anything can happen” after December and it’s fair to say that’s come to fruition this season with an unpredictable few months for Rangnick’s men.
When asked about Ronaldo’s move to the Red Devils after Solskjaer was sacked, Messi told Marca in November: “United are a very strong team with great players. Cristiano already knew the club, but that was at another stage and now he has adapted in an impressive way.
“From the beginning, he has scored goals as always and had no problems adapting. In the Premier League, it is not as good as we all thought, but it is a very difficult and even competition in which things take a lot of turns.
“After December it changes a lot and anything can happen.”
On whether he misses competing against Ronaldo on a regular basis after their historic battles at Barcelona and Real Madrid, he added: “It’s been a long time since we stopped competing in the same league.
“We competed individually and as a team for the same goals. It was a very beautiful stage for us and also for the people because they enjoyed it very much. It is a beautiful memory that will remain in the history of football.”