Barcelona star Lionel Messi has admitted he misses the rivalry between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish top-flight.
The two players won nine Ballon d’Or titles between them across ten consecutive years between 2008 and 2017, with an intense sporting rivalry when Ronaldo was at Real Madrid.
The Portuguese superstar left the Spanish capital last summer to join Juventus in a €100m deal, with the two still widely recognised as the world’s greatest players.
“I would have wanted Cristiano to continue in La Liga and with Madrid,” Messi told an interview with Catalan Radio Rac 1.
“Real Madrid are a club steeped in history and a winning trophy, a club who fight for every trophy, but when a player like Cristiano leaves then they will notice it – any club would.
“The Ballon d’Or rivalry? I’ve never thought about it or finishing with more awards than Cristiano.”
Across their spells at the Blaugrana and Madrid respectively, the two clubs dominated both Spanish and European football with the two players establishing themselves as the greatest ever within the sport.
Ronaldo had previously won three Premier League titles and one Champions League crown with Manchester United, while he has since gone on to win the Italian Serie A title with Juventus.