Despite six months since departing FC Barcelona, seeing the Spanish club without Lionel Messi remains a strange sight for some, even the players. Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro spoke with AS and discussed their situation when Cristian Ronaldo left Los Blancos.
Casemiro stated that when Ronaldo left Real Madrid, there was no denying that they felt his loss, so he understands what Barcelona is going through in the post-Messi era.
“It’s normal, we didn’t realize it because we had them next to us, but both Messi and Cristiano have transformed football. Before the top scorers of the season scored 20 or 25 goals. And these two arrive and start dialing 40, 50 or 60. It seemed impossible. They changed this sport. Cristiano scored more goals than he matches he played for Real Madrid,” Casemiro said.
“It’s a crazy thing. When a player like that leaves the team, it’s normal for the team to miss him. They marked time. But I think the key is to change as soon as possible. Barça must adapt to this new reality. Madrid readapted to the situation. And Barça will do it, for sure. Because these clubs are the biggest in the world and have always had the best in history.”
The Brazil international also spoke about facing Messi again as next week marks the first leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. Despite the rivalry, Casemiro doesn’t hesitate to put the 34-year-old in the top three of best footballers in history.
“No, nothing. Impossible to miss Messi! I also tell you: his absence is noticeable; everything he represented for Barcelona is noticeable. He is a player who falls in love with everyone who sees him. If you love football, you love Messi. He is among the top three in history,” Casemiro said.
“After leaving Barça and, at this moment of transition, you can see how important he was for the team. That is why he is an icon of the club. He will come to the Bernabéu again in no time, but we will be ready because it is impossible for me to stop Messi on my own. The companions will have to help me. Against PSG, we will see a great match.”
PSG will be hopeful that Messi can find that Barcelona form going up against a club he’s very familiar with from his time in Spain. Despite Messi’s struggles playing in France, it won’t matter if he helps the Ligue 1 side to a Champions League trophy.