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Would You Take Messi In Ronaldo’s Place?

We’re left in limbo whilst Ronaldo holidays with his bird who has the body of a goddess, not knowing whether he will be in Manchester or Madrid next season.

Whilst there’s every possibility of United sticking to their guns and fending off Real Madrid for at least another season, as we did after a similar situation played out in 2006, it wouldn’t be unwise to start weighing up our possibilities for replacing him.

Former United coach, Eric Harrison, has said that the only player who can replace Ronaldo is Messi. Is he right?

I personally am not worried about the idea of replacing Ronaldo. There are some players who you just can’t replace like for like. I can’t see how we could purchase anyone who will score 42 goals in 48 games next season. But does that mean we need to panic?

The question of replacing players is one which has arisen time and again. Eric Cantona is the most special player we’ve had at United in the past 20 years. No one replaced him. Nobody could have foreseen that spotty teenager from Portugal replacing David Beckham. Roy Keane’s presence was irreplaceable. We never bought a replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy. When Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis left in 1995, our only replacements were a load of lads from the youth team.

However, Harrison believes that Argentinian Lionel Messi is the man for the job.

“Bryan Robson, Ince, Kanchelskis and Hughes were all great players,” he said. “But Ronaldo will be harder to replace because there is no one in the juniors to do it. Back then we had the golden generation. We were always confident they would eventually play in the first team, it was a matter of when. Ronaldo is probably the best player in the world at the moment. If you were twisting my arm, I’d say the only guy who can replace him is Messi and there are no guarantees that Barcelona will be willing to sell him. That means it might be a more difficult situation.”

The 21-year-old has an impressive list of personal honours, most recently being named the second best player in the World.

Just imagine Barcelona were to accept a bid from us, would you be interested in forking out a fortune to secure the youngster, running the risk he might flop?



About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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17 Comments

  1. Jas Rai says:

    I’ve been watchin Messi for the past three seasons since his debut for Barca. He won’t get the goals the Ronnie can, but he’s a better team player and has a natural talent of taking people on – as opposed to doing step overs etc. He’s awesome, as he showed when he played us last season

  2. THIS_IS_MANCHESTER says:

    i would love to see messi in a united shirt but his size does bring up question marks of him being able to adapt to our league… but tbh i cant see barca selling a player they are most likely going to build a team around

  3. UnitedRay says:

    Leo messi. Better skills, better team player, less ego. He will get better at united no doubt. Ronaldo scores more but only at united because our players sacrificed for him. Messi will compliment tev and wazza more that ronaldo did.

  4. Eddie says:

    Ronaldo will not leave!

  5. Jonny F says:

    Great, great player, set to be one of the all time greats, his close control is second to none, and he was, by some distance, the best player on the park in both games against Barca last season, ‘i’d love it’ if we signed but it’s just not going to happen, he’s been at Barca since he was 10 years old, the fans and the club love him, he’s happy there, just no reason for him to leave, beating a dead horse with this one I fear.

  6. lewis says:

    i don’t think he’s leaving so this argument is pointless

  7. Patrik says:

    Messi is injury-prone in spain, just imagine what might happen to him in the pl. No way that he can replace Ronaldo, I’d prefer to buy a couple of big talents instead who hasn’t made it yet, and develop them into pl-stars in a couple of years.

  8. denton davey says:

    I agree with the last three posts !

  9. Gary says:

    There’s no point even talking about it. Messi is not for sale and he wouldnt want to come to us anyway.

  10. Red77 says:

    I’d take him in a second, but the FACT is he will NEVER leave Barca and come to United. The chances of Messi playing for united are the same as Rooney playing for Liverpool. It’s simply NEVER going to happen.

    Now, Sergio Aguero on the other hand…is another matter. ;)

    Ronaldo might not leave this year, but next season is definitely his last. By that time we should have another winger / attacker lined up and I feel Aguero has the talent and big player value to take CR7′s spot.

    Forget Messi…Barca won’t sell him, and even if they do, i doubt he will come to United.

  11. RFD says:

    Hey Red77, i think you doesnt know what are you talking man.

    Aguero is not a winger and also he doesnt score goals for fun. One thing is been good at Atletico and score a couple of good goals (Probably 10 or 15 in a good season) and another is to be the engine of our attack which Ronaldo is.

    At the moment there is not a single player that can fill Ronaldo boots, the only one will be Messi but he is not a 40 goals a season player, also he gets injured pretty often. If we lose Ronaldo anytime (let say in year or later) we will have to change our style of play to another way, probably adding a new winger and a new striker to make up for Ronaldo loss.

  12. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    I think these are fair descriptions of Ronaldo and Messi: Ronaldo is the most complete attacker in the world while Messi is the player with the most genius in him. Whoever the opposition, Ronaldo scores a goal whether it be a header, volley, shot outside the box, or a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. Whoever the opposition, Messi runs the show. Do United really need a 40-goal a season player? I’d take Messi in an instant if Ronaldo were to leave because I know who I’d rather have in key CL matches.

  13. ManUtd Fan from saudia says:

    yaa he is realyyy fanastic player but I don’t think that barca leave him go

  14. suhayl says:

    Agree with all guys who say its pointlless…messi leave his beloved barca. More chance of george bush winning the nobel prize for world peace.

    Messi genius though. Ronaldo NOT genius

  15. Red77 says:

    RFD: learn how to read. I never said Aguero was a winger. I said he was someone who could replace Ronaldo in the team. i listed him as a attacker / winger which is what Ronaldo has become. He’s not a traditional winger anymore…no player who plays exclusively on the wing would score 40 goals a season.

    Also, you clearly don’t understand the game if you think we NEED a 40 goal player to win. Ronaldo got the goals and took the load off our strikers and that’s great, but there’s no telling if he will ever be able to repeat that feat (chances are he won’t). What united need is a strong core of players who can take the load of scoring and assisting in goals. If each of our 3/4 attacking players score 10+ goals and our strikers consistently get over 25 goals a season we can easily defend all our titles.

    Also remember that Ronaldo took all our penalties and almost 90% of our freekicks. if he does leave, that duty will be shared by others and we have enough quality to make up the goals he scored.

    Can he ever be replaced ? i’m not sure, probably not. But that’s not because there aren’t other players who can’t score the goals he does. it’s basically because he has a flair and skill that’s hard to find. But the team will find a balance with the players that are brought in to replace him and we have enough quality in all areas that we’ll still be the hardest team in England (and one of the toughest teams in Europe) to beat.

    There will be life after Ronaldo, just like there was life after Cantona, Keane, Best, etc…

  16. mayank says:

    ronaldo n messi may b completely different players stylewise n tacticwise but surely they r both potential players no matter who the opponent is….when they face each other one-to-one they have the equal probability to outdo one another.so definitely messi will be up to provide all the balance in the team as well as generate the everlasting sense of confidence in the fans as ronaldo does…….no matter what sort of assumptious defence ronaldo’s fans(most of them,as i m also a ronaldo fan) may come up with for him ,deep down inside they wud also know that ronaldo has to change his ways of commenting outlandishly at times,and needs to be a bit admissive, if ever reality demanded it.on a final note i wud like to think that people will stop comparing them needlessly,and give due credit to them like true football fans,or to any other deserving player for that matter.

  17. mayank says:

    ronaldo n messi may b completely different players stylewise n tacticwise but surely they r both potential players no matter who the opponent is….when they face each other one-to-one they have the equal probability to outdo one another.so definitely messi will be up to provide all the balance in the team as well as generate the everlasting sense of confidence in the fans as ronaldo does…….no matter what sort of assumptious defence ronaldo’s fans(most of them,as i m also a ronaldo fan) come up with for him ,deep down inside they wud also know that ronaldo has to change his ways of commenting outlandishly at times,and needs to be a bit admissive, if ever reality demanded it.on a final note i wud like to think that people will stop comparing them needlessly,and give due credit to them like true football fans,or to any other deserving player for that matter.

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