Real Madrid megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly questioned the wisdom of Philippe Coutinho’s whopping £142m move to Barcelona, suggesting he will play second fiddle to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
In a move aimed to unsettle the Catalan giants, Ronaldo is reported to have said that Coutinho will live in the shadow of Messi and Suarez, picking up the role vacated by Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer last summer.
According to Diario Gol, Ronaldo believes that Coutinho has been brought in to do the leg work for Barcelona’s two main superstars, creating more opportunities for the dynamic duo to add to their already impressive goal tallies.
Brazilian team-mate Neymar is understood to have left Camp Nou during the summer having become disillusioned with life at Barcelona, with many sources suggesting he had become unhappy playing a supporting role to his two team-mates.
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Despite this, Coutinho himself has claimed that his international colleague encouraged him to make the move to Barca, saying;
Ronaldo’s alleged comments come at a time where Real Madrid find themselves significantly off the pace in La Liga, trailing their great rivals by 16 points and languishing in a lowly fourth place.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s game by numbers vs. Celta Vigo:
2 take-ons failed
1 chance created
1 take-on completed
Not at the races. pic.twitter.com/iq5XeDfiEQ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 7, 2018
The Portuguese icon is enduring his worst season for Los Blancos in terms of goalscoring, netting only four times in 13 league appearances, though he did become the first player in history to score in every group game of the Champions League, scoring nine times in total.