Lionel Messi: Ronaldo aims dig at Barcelona star after Liverpool collapse

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After inspiring them to a crushing 3-0 victory in the first leg of the semi-final at the Camp Nou, Messi was powerless to stop Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Reds at Anfield as they overturned a huge first-leg deficit to secure an unlikely 4-0 win and complete one of the greatest comebacks the competition has ever seen.

Manager Ernesto Valverde is now under pressure in his job, while Messi’s team-mates Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho have come in for intense individual criticism.

Messi, meanwhile, refused to give interviews after the game and reportedly clashed with fans in the aftermath of the shock defeat for Barca.

However, Brazil legend Ronaldo thinks he needs to take his portion of the blame.

Messi was not at his brilliant best in Liverpool, his below-par display compounded in the first half as he wasted an excellent chance by anybody’s standards to make it 1-1 on the night and effectively end the tie as a contest.

Ronaldo says the Argentinian would have been rightly lauded had they won the semi-final after he scored twice in the first leg to seemingly seal their place in the final.

But the former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker says it is only right that he is now criticised for failing to hammer that advantage home.

“Barcelona has a great team,” he said. “They have the best player in the world, Messi, and the other day I heard that the loss was the fault of Valverde, Coutinho but never Messi’s fault.

“Instead, when they win it’s the Barcelona of Messi that wins. It’s a tremendous injustice for all of the players and the staff.

“The game? Liverpool’s intensity wasn’t a surprise for Barcelona.

“But they were missing a little luck. The first leg was a great game from Barcelona with an extraordinary performance by Messi.

“But in the second leg Liverpool ate up Barcelona with intensity and desire.”

Valverde looks set to pay the price for the collapse with his job despite having a contract until 2020.

Reports in Spain claim the club can sack him without any sort of pay-off because of a clause in his contract that allows them to get rid of him at the end of any season.

He has now overseen embarrassing Champions League exits in each of the last two campaigns after being knocked out by Roma in the quarter-final last year despite winning the first leg 4-1.

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