Rivaldo: The Ronaldo who left Real Madrid isn’t the same player now

Joan Laporta has made it his mission to persuade Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, by giving the Argentine a positive sporting project to be part of, yet Rivaldo believes that instead of focusing on new signings, the Blaugrana must do everything to keep their main man.

The No.10 sees his current deal with the club expire in June, and whilst both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have long been interested in signing him, Laporta’s election win has at least brought some optimism that he might change his mind and stay at Barcelona.

“Barcelona must focus more on retaining their star, Messi, especially because Laporta knows him very well,” Rivaldo explained to Betfair.

“He may have additional arguments that the other presidential candidates didn’t have.

“Barcelona would benefit much more from retaining a symbol such as Leo, rather than going out and finding new players, with it unclear how they will adapt to a club as big as Barcelona.”

With rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Real Madrid, Rivaldo believes that such a move would represent a risk for all parties involved.

“It would make the Madridistas very happy, but it would also be a risk,” he added.

“We must recognise that the Ronaldo who left Real Madrid a few years ago isn’t the player that would be coming back.

“Of course, he will continue to score many goals, but it may be that in this stage of his career, too much is being asked of him, and if things don’t go well then his status as a legend may be damaged.”

Ronald Koeman’s initial two-year contract was seen as a sign of weakness with regards to the Dutchman’s long-term stability as Barcelona coach, but with the team gradually improving, despite a limp Champions League exit, Rivaldo feels there is no alternative than continuing with the current boss.

“If Koeman didn’t continue it would be a mistake,” he continued.

“It would be something unfair to him.

“Now that a certain internal peace has been discovered within the club, why change things?”


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