The rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain ended after the Portuguese left Real Madrid for Juventus last summer in a staggering £100million deal.

Now, his fierce rival, Lionel Messi has admitted he wishes Ronaldo was still in La Liga.

‘I miss Cristiano,’ Messi told FM Club 947 in Argentina. ‘Although it was a bit difficult to see him win trophies, he gave La Liga prestige.

‘Juventus are a great candidate to win the Champions League since the arrival of Cristiano, and the match against Atleti must have given them a lot of confidence.’

The Barcelona captain also went on to name a list of players who he feels are at the top of their game at the moment.

‘I don’t want to forget anyone, but I think that Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Eden] Hazard, Luis Suarez and [Sergio] Aguero are the best,’ he added.

‘I didn’t mention Cristiano because I put him aside from the list with me.’

Reacting to criticism aimed him after he pulled out of Argentina‘s win over Morocco this week and travelled back to Barcelona.

‘Somebody says whatever they want to say about me and then people believe it and I’m painted as the son of a b****,’ he said.

‘It has become the custom to say things about me. They invent things about me when I am not there. Nothing surprises me.

‘The truth is I came back to the Argentina team with a pubis injury that I have been carrying since December and I have been training less and not playing all games.

‘Pubis injuries are complicated; you cannot shake them off from one day to the next. I feel better but I have to take care of myself.

‘I wanted to play both games with Argentina but after the first game I had some pain and I decided to rest so as not to aggravate the injury. It is improving all the time but it is not completely cleared up