Argentina just 'normal' without Messi: Riquelme

Former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme spoke about the importance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to their teams.

Argentina star Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Juan Roman Riquelme believes Argentina becomes just a "normal" team without Lionel Messi, as do Real Madrid when Cristiano Ronaldo is absent.

Edgardo Bauza's Argentina is struggling in World Cup qualifying, sitting fifth in the table with Messi having featured in just five of its 12 matches.

Riquelme, who made 51 appearances for his nation, said Messi's absence reduced Argentina to being just like any other team.

And he feels the same happens to Madrid, who are top of LaLiga, without four-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

"Argentina without Messi is a normal team, but this of course the best player in the world," Riquelme told Canal 13.

"The same thing would happen to Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo."

Ronaldo has scored 19 league goals, four fewer than Messi, to help Madrid top the table ahead of Barcelona.

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