Cristiano Ronaldo stated he hoped Lionel Messi would “accept the challenge” and move out of his comfort zone when he discussed his own move to Juventus a few years ago
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had very different career paths.
Whilst Ronaldo has tested himself in the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A with great success, his rival has remained a one-club man – until now.
Messi’s Barcelona departure means fans could finally get the chance to see him play elsewhere with big clubs around the world exploring if they could fund a move for the Argentinian superstar.
If Messi heads elsewhere and excels, it could answer one of the major question marks often held against him in the inevitable comparisons with Ronaldo.
When Ronaldo left Spain to join Juventus in 2018, he opened up on his desire to take on a new challenge.
When asked about Messi, he declared “I hope he accepts the challenge like me”, indicating he would love a reunion in Italy or to see him step out of his comfort zone.
“Maybe Messi misses me,” Ronaldo told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.
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“Maybe he needs me more… For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy.
“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that.
“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”
Ronaldo’s message to Messi was clear – and it still applies a few years down the line.
Messi has now been presented with a chance to take Ronaldo’s “challenge” and test himself away from LaLiga after leaving Barcelona.
Wherever he ends up, the outcome will have major implications on the Ronaldo and Messi debate that will continue to rumble for years to come.
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