In a recent interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Cristiano Ronaldo suggested that Lionel Messi should come and join him in Italy. Although it is highly improbable that Leo Messi leaves Barcelona and joins a Serie A club, let us look at four things which would happen if this goes through in the future.
4. The continuation of a historic rivalry
Ronaldo on Messi: “I don’t miss him. Maybe he misses me. I played in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal and he’s still in Spain. Maybe he needs me more. I’d like him to come to Italy one day and accept the challenge, like I did. But I respect if he’s happy in Barcelona.” pic.twitter.com/baqjGwSd6v
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) December 11, 2018
Over the past decade and more, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have gifted us with memorable moments in football. They took their rivalry up a notch when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid after having faced Messi and Barcelona already in the UEFA Champions League while at Manchester United.
The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was on a different level with these two superstars on their respective teams. But as Cristiano switched to Juventus this summer, there are less individual competitors both in Serie A and LaLiga
3. Enhancing Italian football and the Serie A brand
The night Juventus rose to applaud Cristiano Ronaldo.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 4, 2018
Serie A was at it’s best during the 90s. It was arguably the toughest league back then as most greats like Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario, Paulo Maldini, and a plethora of legends featured in the Serie A. With the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Serie A’s brand benefited a lot evidently.
Although Lionel Messi playing for an Italian club is a pipe dream, and impossible at this moment, his arrival could take the league to it’s past glory, and take the brand to a whole new level.
2. A challenge for Juventus
Free-kicks scored in the last 4 years:
Lionel Messi: 19
⚽ Juventus: 18
⚽ Real Madrid: 14
⚽ Lyon: 14
⚽ Roma: 14
⚽ Bayern: 13
⚽ PSG: 12
⚽ Sampdoria: 12
⚽ Monaco: 12
⚽ Chelsea: 11
⚽ Liverpool: 11
⚽ AC Milan: 11
The GOAT. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/tnSmV8eTi3
— Football Factly (@FootballFactly) December 11, 2018
Despite the compelling nature of Serie A, Juventus were crowned the Italian champions 7 times before Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival. Serie A last had a different winner when it was won by AC Milan in 2010-11, and Juventus have won it for a record 7 times consecutively since then.
Lionel Messi’s arrival in Italy for any club other than Juventus will make the title race spicier and challenging for Juventus.
1. Downfall of Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 11, 2018
Even after the departures of Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta, and David Villa, Messi continues to have a huge impact on Barcelona. Messi manages to pull Barcelona through even when they are down and to call Lionel Messi an integral piece of Barcelona will be an understatement.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a similar impact with Real Madrid for almost a decade. His arrival helped Real Madrid meet their ambitions and enjoy success for the last few years, and it is clear this season that they miss the greatest goalscorer in Los Blancos’ rich history.
Similarly, Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona would be a testing time and could herald a slump in their performances. A move away is pure fantasy, but who can predict the future?