Messi never to blame for Barcelona losses – Ronaldo

Ronaldo said when Barcelona win it is because of Lionel Messi but when the Spanish giants 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 holders 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.

"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."

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