Messi: ‘Juventus clear favourites’

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was “surprised” by Cristiano Ronaldo’s move, but now “Juventus are a clear favourite to win the Champions League.”

The €100m transfer may not have provided any goals in his first three Serie A games, but the Ballon d’Or winner has always given his best in European competition.

Even his biggest rival for major international trophies agreed, as Messi told Catalunya Radio that CR7 tips the balance.

“Real Madrid are less strong without Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad, as obviously he is one of the best in the world” said the Argentina international.

“Juventus are a clear favourite to win the Champions League now they have Cristiano Ronaldo. I was surprised by his decision, as I didn’t expect him to leave Madrid or go to Juventus. It’s a very good team.”

Last season, the Blaugrana crashed out after an extraordinary Roma comeback in the quarter-final.

“We’ve gone out in the quarter-finals for three years running and the last one was the most painful for the way it came about. We have to aim for the trophy, because we can do it.

“We missed out because of details, in the Pep Guardiola era against Inter, and Chelsea. Other clubs are strong, have a lot of money and sign many players, like the two Manchesters, Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG, various Italian clubs, they all have a lot of money.

“Plus when things don’t go our way, we struggle to react, as we did against Roma. We did not react the right way during the game.”

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