Brazilian Ronaldo has insisted Lionel Messi must shoulder some of the blame for Barcelona’s humiliating Champions League exit at Liverpool .
The Catalan giants held a 3-0 lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side after the first leg at the Nou Camp with Messi scoring twice, including a spectacular free-kick.
Messi rightly took plenty of plaudits for his display, but he failed to have the same impact in the return fixture on Merseyside.
Two goals each from Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum secured a 4-0 win for Liverpool to send them through to the final in Madrid on June 1, where they will face Tottenham .
And Ronaldo says, if Messi is going to take the praise for Barca’s triumphs, he must also face the music when things go wrong.
“It is unfair to point the culprits to a defeat,” Ronaldo said at a Santander event. “I see that Barcelona has a great team and has the best player in the world, which is Messi.
“The other day I read that other players lost and Barca wins [because of] Messi. It is a tremendous injustice to all the players and the coaching staff.
“Barcelona is a great team with great players and very good coaches. You should be a little more careful with criticism.”
Ronaldo also hailed Liverpool’s display, insisting they would have eventually scored the fourth goal regardless of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking from the corner to set up Origi.
“[Liverpool] had more motivation, intensity and desire,” Ronaldo added. “In the first part, Barcelona had chances to score a goal that would have changed everything.
“But Liverpool deserved it. They have shown strength and emotional intelligence.
“In the fourth goal there was a mistake, but I think that if it had not [been scored], it would have arrived in a different way. They played the game of their lives.
“It’s a shame for Barcelona, because they played a great game in the first leg, we all enjoyed Messi.
“It’s a pity that there is not a Spaniard in the final, but Liverpool deserved it more.”