Messi world's highest paid athlete with Ronaldo also featuring in Top 10
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Lionel Messi has been suggested as a “suspicious” reason as to why Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United. Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino reckons Ronaldo wants to ensure he finishes his career above his old rival as the leading goalscorer in Champions League history.
United were rocked on Saturday by the news that the Portuguese superstar wants to leave this summer. The Times claims the decision is driven by the desire to continue playing in Europe’s elite club competition.
United finished sixth in the Premier League last season and therefore will be playing Europa League football next term. But Cascarino does not think it is only participating in the Champions League that is Ronaldo’s motivation for wanting to leave Old Trafford.
Ronaldo is currently 16 goals clear of Messi as the leading goalscorer in the competition’s history with 141 strikes to his name. Cascarino reckons he does not want to risk falling behind Messi by playing a season out of the competition.
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He told talkSPORT: “I said to you off air I’m a bit suspicious because he’s got 141 goals in the Champions League, Lionel Messi’s got 125.
“He doesn’t not want to play Champions League football because he wants to be the greatest Champions League goalscorer of all time. That’s how Ronaldo’s made.”
Cascarino also says Ronaldo is not a good fit for an unsuccessful team, suggesting United would be better off without him. He continued: “Ronaldo as a player has always had an ego where a lot of it’s about him, but teams have been successful.
“So you always go with that as a team. Yeah great, he scores all his goals, he gets the accolades, he’s one of the greatest to have played the game, you can have all that.
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“And that’s fine, as long as you’re winning. But when you don’t win, now you’ve got a problem.”
Ronaldo previously spoke of his excitement at the appointment of Erik ten Hag as the club’s manager. He told the United website in May: “What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach.
“Things need to change the way he wants. I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best.
“We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well. I wish him the best and let’s believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies.”
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