Barcelona captain Lionel Messi on Monday admitted that without his life-long nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid are a less good side. The 31-year-old Argentine further said that he was surprised when Ronaldo brought an abrupt end to his Los Blancos career, however, he also conceded that the Portuguese attacker has chosen a good side in Juventus.

Messi continued to heap praise on Juventus and stressed that with the presence of Ronaldo among their ranks, the Serie A giants will now emerge as a dominant force in Europe and are clear favourites to win this years’ UEFA Champions League.

“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 and makes Juventus clear favourites to win the Champions League,” said Messi.

Upon being asked how he felt when Ronaldo announced his shock exit from Real Madrid, the Barcelona talisman said, “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 started the La Liga 2018-19 season in explosive fashion having scored 4 goals in 3 appearances so far. The diminutive attacker was recently handed the captain’s armband after the departure of Andres Iniesta from the club and he duly displayed his leadership qualities in the 8-2 rout of Huesca.

During the Huesca game, Lionel Messi had already hit a brace in the match when he was presented with the opportunity to complete his 31st La Liga hattrick by converting a penalty. However, Messi took the ball and gave it away to Luis Suarez asking him to take the penalty shot. Suarez duly converted the penalty, Messi missed his hattrick but he certainly won over fans.

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