Paris Saint Germain forward, Lionel Messi has taken a look at how well his career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo has fared since he returned to Manchester United last summer. The 34-year-old Argentine icon believes that Ronaldo has adapted well at the Premier League side.
Recall that Ronaldo played at Manchester United between 2003 and 2009 before he joined Real Madrid where he competed with Lionel Messi who was playing with Barca then. The 36-year-old Portuguese icon stayed at the Spanish side until 2018 before he decided to join Juventus.
After three successful seasons at Juventus, Ronaldo decided to return to Manchester United in August 2021, a few days after Lionel Messi joined PSG on a free transfer.
Unlike Lionel Messi that had to wait until 6 French Ligue 1 games before he scored his first league goal for PSG, Ronaldo scored his first Premier League goal in his first league game after his return to Old Trafford.
Since then, the 36-year-old Portuguese forward has scored a total number of 9 goals and provided 2 assists in 13 games in all competitions for Manchester United.
Despite his effort at the Premier League club, Manchester United as a team could not perform well enough to keep coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the club. He was sacked last weekend due to a poor run of games.
But in Lionel Messi’s evaluation of Ronaldo’s performance, Messi told French publication, Marca, that Ronaldo outstandingly adapted at Manchester United.
“United are a very strong team with great players. Cristiano already knew the club, but that was at another stage and now he has adapted impressively,” Messi said.
“From the beginning, he has scored goals as always and had no problems adapting. In the Premier League, it is not as good as we all thought, but it is a very difficult and even competition in which things take a lot of turns.
“After December it changes a lot and anything can happen.”
When Messi was asked whether he missed competing with Ronaldo who he competed with in Spanish La Liga for 9 years, the Argentine football icon said his time with Ronaldo in Spain was “a very beautiful stage” in their career.
“It’s been a long time since we stopped competing in the same league”, he said.
“We competed individually and as a team for the same goals. It was a very beautiful stage for us and also for the people because they enjoyed it very much. It is a beautiful memory that will remain in the history of football.”
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be in action this midweek in the UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo will lead Manchester United to play against Villarreal on Tuesday, November 23. While Messi will lead PSG to play against Manchester City on Wednesday.