Cristiano Ronaldo Challenges Lionel Messi to Join Him in Serie A

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2018

Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo runs with the ball during the Serie A soccer match Juventus vs InterMilan at the Stadio delle Alpi in Turin on December 7, 2018. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP/Getty Images)
ISABELLA BONOTTO/Getty Images

Lionel Messi should "accept the challenge" of leaving Barcelona and move to play in Italy, according to Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentinian has only ever played first-team football at Barca, while Ronaldo is at the fourth club of his senior career following his summer move from Real Madrid to Juve.

Ronaldo said he does not miss playing against Messi in La Liga, but he urged his fellow five-time Ballon d'Or winner to take on a new challenge, per Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Goal's Chris Burton):

"No, maybe he misses me. I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain. Maybe he needs me more. For me, life is a challenge, I like it, and I like to make people happy. I would like him to come to Italy one day. Like me, accept the challenge. However, if he is happy there, I respect him. He is a fantastic player, a good guy, but I do not miss anything here. This is my new life, and I'm happy."

Ronaldo, 33, began his career at Sporting Lisbon before moving to Manchester United in 2003.

He became a superstar at Old Trafford, winning three Premier League titles and the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League.

An £80 million move to Real in 2009 then saw him come into direct competition with Messi in La Liga, and he won two more league titles and four more Champions Leagues at the Santiago Bernabeu.

After five months at Juve, the Portuguese is well on his way to another domestic title—the Old Lady are eight points clear at the top of Serie A.

And he said he is happy at his new club, per Tuttosport (h/t Calciomercato): "I am happy here, the city is cool, different and smaller than Madrid but I like it. The fans are amazing and the players are good: they’re humble and they like to work hard. We are like a family, it’s all great."

CORNELLA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 8: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona  during the La Liga Santander  match between Espanyol v FC Barcelona at the RCDE Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Cornella Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Juve and Barcelona have both qualified for the knockout rounds of the 2018-19 Champions League, so there is a chance Messi and Ronaldo could meet this season despite no longer being in the same league.

It would be a thrilling prospect to see Messi, 31, ply his trade in another league after 17 years at Barca—he joined their youth academy aged 13.

But he has a contract at the Camp Nou through to 2021 and has rarely given any indication of a desire to depart the Blaugrana. 

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