Lionel Messi called Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United “impressive”.
United parted ways with coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday after the team’s fifth loss in seven Premier League games, but Ronaldo has been United’s talisman.
Ronaldo, 36, has scored six goals in his first eight appearances in all competitions after joining United after leaving Juventus.
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Messi, who only celebrated his first league goal with Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday after failing to find the back of the net in his five previous Ligue 1 appearances, told Marca: “Cristiano already knew the club but it was at a different stage and now he’s adapted in an impressive way. From the start he scored goals as always and had no problem adjusting. “
Ronaldo, who is, alongside Messi, on the list of 30 Ballon d’Or nominees and nominated for best FIFA men’s player of the 2020-21 season, spent six years at United from 2003-2009 during of his first visit there.
He then moved to Real Madrid where he enjoyed a successful nine-year spell that included a big rivalry with Messi.
“Time has passed since we competed in the same league,” the Argentina captain said of Ronaldo.
“We have not only competed at individual level but also at team level for the same goals. It was a very nice stage for us and for the people because they really appreciated it. It is a beautiful memory that will remain in the history of football. “
Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Watford was United’s fifth loss in their last seven Premier League appearances and left them in eighth place in the table, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.
“United are a very strong team with great players,” Messi said. “The Premier League is a very tough and level competition and things can change a couple of times. After December, a lot of changes and anything can happen. “
Messi, meanwhile, said he had “completely adapted” to PSG and was in the same locker room as former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
Ramos joined PSG as a free agent a few weeks before PSG announced the arrival of Messi from Barcelona.
The veteran defender is yet to make his debut for PSG after battling injuries.
“Now that’s not the case, but at first it was weird after so many years of rivalry, being the two captains of Barca and Madrid, after so many Classics played, so many fights that we have had on the pitch, ”Messi said.
“But it all stayed there, and we still respected each other a lot despite having been great rivals in these Classics. Having him as a teammate today is a spectacle. Little by little, he is joining us and I hope he will play as quickly as possible because he will be a crucial player to fight for our goals. “
Another player who is and will be the key to PSG is Kylian Mbappe.
The French striker has revealed that he wanted to leave PSG last summer for Real Madrid. PSG refused to sell the player, who became a free agent in June.
“I can only say that I am happy that he has decided to stay here this year,” Messi said. “He’s a very important player for us and to fight for the goals we have. His head is 100% focused on our goals. Once the season is over, he will then decide what to do. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. “
Messi and PSG are in action on Wednesday when they face Manchester City in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.