• La Liga chief says Messi's La Liga exit will get noticed
  • He says Ronaldo's departure did not affect the league's popularity
  • Ronaldo moved from Real to Juventus in 2018

LaLiga President Javier Tebas has insisted that while Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Serie A had no impact on the Spanish league’s popularity, his opinion was not the same when it comes to Lionel Messi.

Having scored over 1,200 goals between them on the club level, Messi and Ronaldo have dominated soccer for the majority of the past two decades. They even share a total of 11 Ballon d’Or awards between them, with five in Ronaldo’s account, who was recently pipped by Messi by clinching a record sixth award.

The fans of both the legends are always debating to determine who the better player of the two is.

Messi has scored a career 699 goals including 629 goals in 720 games for Barcelona and 70 goals in 138 matches for Argentina. While Messi has played for just one club since his first-team debut in 2004, Ronaldo now has represented four clubs including three clubs that play in the top-flight leagues.

After spending six years at Manchester United, Ronaldo moved to La Liga’s Real Madrid in 2009 and that’s when he began his direct rivalry with Barcelona’s Messi. During Ronaldo’s nine-year stint with the Bernabeu side, Messi and Ronaldo brought the best out of each other while they helped their respective clubs to win trophies.

After scoring 450 goals in 438 matches for Real Madrid, Ronaldo decided to move to Serie A’s Juventus in 2018. Since the Portuguese forward’s exit, Real Madrid have struggled to win trophies.

However, LaLiga chief Tebas has revealed that Ronaldo’s move from the La Liga did not affect the tournament's popularity.

“Ronaldo’s departure, even if they are upset in Madrid, had almost no impact because in LaLiga we have been preparing for years for the LaLiga brand to go beyond the players,” Tebas told Spanish radio station RAC1, as per Daily Mail.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi of Barcelona conducts the ball next to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium, Dec. 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Tebas’ answer changed when he was asked about Messi, who is yet to sign a contract extension. There were reports earlier that Barcelona had offered a contract extension for two years so that would keep Messi at Nou Camp until 2022 at least. It would depend on Messi then if he would want to stay at the club beyond 2023 or not.

“Messi’s case is different. Messi is the best player in the history of football. We’ve been lucky enough to always have him in our league. I think Messi’s exit would be noticed,” Tebas added.