Leo Messi puede dar la puntilla a Florentino

Messi could stick the knife in after Florentino's mistake

OPINION

Joan Maria Batlle

Cristiano is now history at Real Madrid. A history which saw him score 50 goals per season and won four Champions League titles in nine years at the club. It was an ugly exit, via the back door, as Florentino Perez took the biggest risk of his career. Cristiano leaves as the Ballon d'Or winner and with the Champions League trophy under his arm.

He's 33, sure, but he's the current Ballon d'Or holder, won the Champions League and scored 44 goals last season. And he's leaving for €105m, a fee which other teams are paying in the current market for players who aren't even half as good as him. I don't want to offend anybody but Barça sold Paulinho for half that price. It's a miracle.. or a huge balls up from Florentino. In the end, Mr Perez knows why he's risked the future, both his and the club's, for only €100m.

an immense risk  

There are very few footballing reasons you can make to defend the transfer. It feels personal, a war of egos between the footballer and the most egotistical man of all time, Real Madrid's president. The higher being felt challenged and he couldn't accept that. From there, both Madrid and their fans knew it wouldn't end well.

Cristiano can continue being as egotistical as he wants but, if anyone could combat the best team in history, Messi's Barça, it was him. Without Cristiano's goals, Madrid would've been a minor rival to Barcelona. Florentino would have been a normal president and the fans would've swallowed him alive. And be careful, that might happen now.

Messi is the only footballer in the world to have scored more goals than Cristiano. He'll continue to score them for Barcelona while the Portuguese star will be doing the same for Juventus. If Florentino thinks that with Courtois and Hazard he's solved everything, he's been caught out. Or if he signs Icardi, Lewandowski or Kane. Messi aside, there is no other goalscorer in the world like Cristiano. Suarez is the closest to him but, much to Mr Perez's disgust, he's also at Barcelona.

The risk that Florentino Perez is taking, following the loss of Zidane as well, is immense. This year Messi could stick the knife in. His goals and talent will remain at Barça and the difference between the two sides will be a lot more noticeable.

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