In the summer, Messi left Barcelona after an 18-year stint to join PSG on a free transfer, while Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in a surprise deal, although neither move has gone as planned.
Since joining PSG on a free transfer, Messi has only scored seven goals. After returning to Manchester United, Ronaldo has scored 15 goals. Both superstars appear dissatisfied with their current circumstances and have struggled since their summer transfers.
Dominating the Ground Together
The two stars’ reign, which has effectively taken over football over the last decade, maybe come to an end, with goals and trophies drying up for the pair.
With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, and Mohamed Salah now in the mix, the title of the greatest player may have to be passed over. But how did we get to this point?
Last season, it was still mostly a Messi vs. Ronaldo struggle, with the other big-name talents lurking in the shadows. What’s next for the two stars, who now appear to be frustrated? In France, Ronaldo appears to be increasingly dissatisfied, while Messi appears to be lost.
So Far This Season
Since leaving Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer, Messi has struggled to adjust to life in France. This season, he has only scored twice in the league and has a total of seven goals, five of which have come in the Champions League.
In a recent Ligue 1 match against Nice, the 34-year-old also set an unwelcome record by failing to register a single shot on target for the capital club. The last time the forward failed to register a shot in a league match was during the 2009/10 campaign.
In comparison, he scored 38 goals in 37 games for the Catalan giants the previous season. In terms of statistics, Portuguese striker Ronaldo is having a lot better season, until recently, when he has struggled and is currently nursing an injury. United’s highest scorer this season is the 37-year-old, who has 15 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions, including six in the Champions League.
Only one of those objectives was met in 2022. Ronaldo has only scored once in his past ten games, a well-taken long-range goal in a 2-0 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion on February 15. In comparison to the previous season, when he scored 36 goals in 44 appearances for Juventus, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s figures appear to be lacking.
People will wonder what went wrong, just as they did with Messi because the signings of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho were supposed to put United back in contention in the Premier League. They appear to be further away than they have ever been.
Current situations for Messi and Ronaldo
L’Equipe gave Messi a three-out-of-ten rating for his ‘worrying’ weak performance in Barcelona’s 1-0 Champions League first-leg triumph over Real Madrid. During a 3-1 defeat, he managed to redeem himself in the second leg, which saw the French giants crash out of Europe’s elite championship.
With a 6/10 rating, the attacker was one of PSG’s more highly-rated players, with a favorable evaluation describing him as “extremely agile and offers offensive alternatives while demonstrating his deep knowledge of the game.”
However, Messi used to take this game by the scruff of the neck to assure his team’s progression, whereas now he is already out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage. He still doesn’t seem to have fit in and has yet to form the ideal chemistry that was envisioned from a front three that included Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, has had an incredible start to life at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in his first three games. It has now fallen apart, with reports claiming he wants to leave the Red Devils in search of a fresh challenge.
Ronaldo was unavailable from United’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City on Sunday and has not trained with the first squad since. After reporting the aforementioned hip flexor ailment to staff, the former Real Madrid attacker missed training for the first time on Friday. He eventually returned to Portugal and was not there at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to support his teammates.
What comes after this?
Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG when he arrived, so he only has one year left after this season, and it seems unlikely that he will choose to extend his contract with an optional third year.
Fans will hope Messi to stay, but if PSG are to conquer the Champions League for the first time, he must pick up his game, especially with Mbappe slated to leave for LaLiga powerhouse Real Madrid in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino, the club’s manager, is on the verge of being fired after winning the Champions League and has also been connected with the Manchester United position, thus Messi’s future is uncertain.
He has been linked with a move to Barcelona, but his former team has already begun a rebuilding process, and a move now appears to be out of the question. Ronaldo appears to be trying to force a move away, with his agent Jorge Mendes on the lookout for a new club after becoming engaged in off-field rumors concerning dressing room cliques.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding United, with interim manager Ralf Rangnick expected to leave in the summer and the club’s main targets being PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag.
That does not appear to be a factor in Ronaldo’s decision, as he feels dissatisfied with not contending for trophies and scoring freely while the Red Devils prepare for a player exodus this summer.
Although like Messi, Ronaldo signed a two-year contract in the summer, it may be impossible for him to depart United. Are significant moves for both stars going to be a setback? Should they stay still or consider going backward to increase their chances of success?
Messi and Ronaldo, for example, are both accustomed to winning titles and scoring freely. It’s odd to see anything different, and both of them appear to be having difficulty achieving that level of accomplishment.
Read: Lionel Messi having a nightmare in the Champions League since 2016