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Why Neymar’s Departure has Paved the Way for Messi to Claim Back the Golden Boot from Ronaldo

Following a brilliant hat trick over local rival Espanyol over the weekend, Lionel Messi netted a brilliant brace as Barcelona helped themselves to a dose of Champions League revenge with a dominant 3-0 Group D win over Juventus. The Serie A champions beat Barca by the same scoreline in the quarter-finals last season before holding out for a second-leg stalemate at Camp Nou.

Barca have since lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, but it was Juve’s’ most notable pre-season departure – Leonardo Bonucci’s surprise switch to AC Milan – that loomed largest over this match as a once formidable defense was cut to ribbons in Giorgio Chiellini’s injury absence.

 

Since Neymar’s departure, Messi has stepped up on his goal scoring record, pushing forward more than when the Brazilian was around. He was more of a creator for both Suarez and Neymar in the past years, making it difficult to challenge Ronaldo on Golden boot, especially in the Champions League.

 

The Portuguese are currently the highest goal scorer in the history of Champions League, netting 105 times. He has been able to achieve this milestone because he has been the competitions top scorer for the past five seasons. Of course, everyone knows Ronaldo is hungry for goals and for this, many of Messi’s fans brand him “Selfish”. Whatever the case may be, this has brought him more successes over the recent years, and he is on the verge of winning his 4th Balon d’Or to tie up with Messi.

This season, it’s looking like no player is ready to break the Ronaldo-Messi dominance, and early signs have shown that we are in for same story, with both players hungrier than ever. In La Liga, Ronaldo has not featured because he is serving a 5 match ban. Real Madrid have shown a sign that they always need him after playing 2 consecutive draws, the latest being an embarrassing one, coming against lowly Levante.

Having said much, we expect a close challenge between the two rare gems in football, regarding goal scoring and more records being broken. Messi especially is up to something exceptional this season.

What’s your thought on this?

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