Football

Fading Lionel Messi would ‘struggle in Premier League’ as he’s not Cristiano Ronaldo, says Emmanuel Petit



Barcelona star Lionel Messi would struggle in the Premier League as he does not have the same strength as Cristiano Ronaldo, says Emmanuel Petit.

Messi has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou this summer amid a row with sporting director Eric Abidal.

Like past players Carles Puyol and Xavi, Messi has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for free every summer should he wish.


Manchester City have long been admirers and are viewed as the likeliest destination should Messi leave Barcelona, though Pep Guardiola is against the idea .

But City have been told by Petit to forget about a transfer as Messi is on the decline and would not present value for money.

(AP)

“Honestly, I don’t think he’s suited to the intensity of England,” Petit told the Mirror. “He doesn’t like being closed down and being fought. In Spain, he’s protected.

“It would be a pleasure for English fans to see him but I don’t see why a club like Manchester City, for example, would move for Messi at 32 or 33.

“If City wanted to buy him, they should have tried to do it a couple of years ago.

“Messi is not Cristiano Ronaldo. Physically, he’s not the same machine. Ronaldo is a monster but, at 32, Messi has only one or two more years playing at the highest level.

“Even playing alongside great players at Barca, he won’t have the same pace or the dribbling ability. I’m sure he knows the end is not far away.”


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