‘Their main player leaving is not the solution’: Brazil legend Ronaldo warns Barcelona against losing Lionel Messi despite furious talisman admitting he is now ‘more out than in’ during showdown talks
- Brazil and Barcelona icon Ronaldo warned his former club to keep Lionel Messi
- Messi revealed his frustrations with the running of Barcelona behind the scenes
- The Champions League humiliation has prompted speculation over his future
- But Ronaldo is adamant Barcelona should fend off interest to halt their decline
Brazil and Barcelona legend Ronaldo has warned his former club to do everything in their power to keep Lionel Messi despite the talisman’s recent fury.
The 33-year-old superstar has not held back in revealing his disgust with the state of the Catalan giants, both on and off the field, and speculation has mounted over his future after the Champions League humiliation.
Ronaldo, however, believes that Barcelona’s fall from grace would become even more stark should Messi decide to make the sensational decision of parting ways with the club this summer.
Former Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldo has warned his former club to keep Lionel Messi
Ronaldo (pictured, centre) stressed that Barcelona’s decline would be worse without Messi
The heavy defeat against Bayern Munich has shed further light on the chaos that has gripped Barcelona in recent seasons, with Messi reserving particular frustration over the poor decisions taken by controversial president Josep Bartomeu.
A mass first-team exodus is now expected after the arrival of Ronald Koeman, and Messi’s dilemma still remains far from clear after he cut short his holiday to hold showdown talks with the new head coach.
But despite the awkward stand-off, Ronaldo is adamant that Barcelona should prevent Messi from walking away.
Barcelona’s Champions League elimination has laid bare Messi’s frustrations with the club
Ronaldo, who played for Barcelona between 1996-97, says Messi remains the club’s key man
He told Marca: ‘Messi is the reference point for this team, and if I was Barcelona, I would not let him leave in any case.
‘He has been a great player, and has a very intense relationship with the club.
‘The situation has been exaggerated by their Champions League defeat. However, Messi needs his teammates to help him.
‘Barcelona need to try something new next season. But their main player leaving is not the solution.’
The talisman is believed to have told Ronald Koeman about his doubts during recent crisis talks
Messi is said to have told Koeman that he is currently ‘more out than in’ at the Nou Camp after becoming disillusioned with the manner in which the club has been poorly run.
He is unlikely to be shown the exit door regardless in the current market, with the club ready to remind their star player about his exorbitant £630million release clause.
Koeman, who was recently revealed as Quique Setien’s successor, has already told Messi that he envisages him as remaining at the heart of his rebuild despite the Argentinian having just 12 months left on his current deal.