Messi never to blame for Barcelona losses – Ronaldo

Brazilian great Ronaldo had a dig at Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi following the club's Champions League exit.

Barcelona great Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo said when Barcelona win it is because of Lionel Messi but when the Spanish giant lose it is down to Ernesto Valverde and Philippe Coutinho as he had a dig at the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi and Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, the LaLiga holder surrendering a 3-0 first-leg advantage in a stunning 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

Barca head coach Valverde was heavily scrutinised after the club's treble hopes ended, while attacker Coutinho was also the target of criticism.

Brazilian great Ronaldo – who played for both Barca and Real Madrid – believes the other players are deserving of more respect in the shadow of superstar Messi.

"Barcelona have a great team, and they have the best player in the world in Messi," Ronaldo said.

"The other day I heard that when they lose, it's because of Valverde, Coutinho... but not Messi.

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"And when they win, Barcelona win because of Messi. It's a tremendous lack of respect to all the players and the coaching staff."

Reflecting on the match, Ronaldo added: "When a team are a lot more motivated, with an intensity that is noticeably greater than that of their opponents, [the comeback] can happen.

"Liverpool's intensity was not a surprise for Barcelona, but they lacked a bit of luck.

"The first leg was a great match by Barcelona, with an exceptional performance by Messi, but in the return fixture, Liverpool overwhelmed them with intensity, desire and a clinical nature."