Nicolas Anelka insists it’s ‘normal’ to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi slowing down — although he has expressed surprise at both players’ form this season.
Both players find themselves in the unusual position of having already been knocked out of the Champions League this season as the competition reaches the quart-final stage. With both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United being dumped out in the past week, it’s the second season running Ronaldo and Messi have missed out on a place in last eight.
Both players have also faced questions since making their respective moves last summer. Ronaldo has found himself at the centre of numerous reports suggesting he has caused unrest in the United dressing room, while Messi has struggled for form in France.
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Despite facing some criticism over his place in the side, Ronaldo has enjoyed a much better season than his old rival. While the Portuguese star has 18 goals in all competitions for United since his return, Messi has scored just seven since moving to the French capital.
And Anelka has admitted he thought the two might endure differing this season. But the former Chelsea and PSG striker though thought it would be Ronaldo struggling rather than Messi.
“They have made their careers and I think they are both satisfied with what they have produced for 15 years,” Anelka said. “I am more surprised by Messi than by Ronaldo.
“I thought that Messi was going to stroll in the French championship and that Ronaldo was going to struggle a little more because the Premier League, for me, is a more difficult championship in terms of the impact on and around the pitch.
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“I think that there won’t be any more players like that who will dominate world football so much. They’ve been above everyone for 15 years; it’s logical to see them slowing down. It’s normal.”
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