Lionel Messi believes Real Madrid are not the same force they were, following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The pair played alongside each other in the La Liga for 9 years, and were regularly compared.
Messi is prepared to dominate the La Liga with Barcelona and accepts that Juventus are UCL favourites.
The Argentine forward told Catalunya Radio: “Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them less good and makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League.”
Messi added on Ronaldo’s shock departure from the Santiago Bernabeu: “It surprised me [when he left].
“I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus. There were a lot of teams that wanted him. It surprised me, but he has gone to a very good team.”