• A former Liverpool player said Lionel Messi made Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid
  • Former Liverpool player thinks Ronaldo knew he was always behind Messi
  • Former Liverpool player said Ronaldo wants people to forget that Messi was the better player

A soccer pundit and former Liverpool player claims Lionel Messi was the reason Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in 2018.

It was 2009 when Ronaldo decided to move from Manchester United to Real Madrid. This marked the beginning of almost a decade-long rivalry with his soccer nemesis Messi. Ronaldo and Messi battled each other in El Clasico for roughly 10 consecutive years. It was enough time for Ronaldo to figure out ways to beat Messi and apparently, the decision to take his talents to Italy was one of them.

In an exclusive interview with CaughtOffside, former Liverpool player turned Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said that he believes Ronaldo found a clever way to prove that he’s better than Messi.

According to Carragher, despite being regarded as one of the best to ever play the game, the Portuguese star knows that the Argentine captain is still ahead of him. With that in mind, Ronaldo may have thought that making a big move to Italy would eventually dissolve the fact that Messi has always been the better player.

“I think that’s why Ronaldo’s moved. I think he knows that he’s always been seen as just behind Messi, so I think Ronaldo’s quite clever,” Carragher said.

Carragher further explained that Ronaldo moved to Italy in the hope to become a top scorer in all the countries he has played in – a legacy which is quite different from what Messi has with Barcelona.

“I can say I’ve won the league in all these countries, been the top scorer in all these countries and these are more strings to my bow. I also think he probably does the opposite to what Messi does to try and paint himself as being slightly different,” Carragher pointed out.

Ultimately, Carragher emphasized that unlike Ronaldo, Messi never needed to prove himself and will still be one of the greatest of all time even if he stays in Barcelona.

“Listen, I don’t think of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini being any less of a defender because they never left AC Milan. So that’s not going to change me with Lionel Messi not leaving Barcelona. I mean, why would you leave Barcelona?,” Carragher emphasized.

While Carragher may have a point, Messi and Ronaldo are still special in their own unique way. And though they are now playing in different countries, one thing that “CR7” and “Leo” have in common is legacy.

Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Barcelona Real Madrid
Lionel Messi, left, and Barcelona first meet Celta Vigo followed by Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo, right, away against Sevilla. Reuters