Cristiano Ronaldo's Success Has Wrecked Lionel Messi's Confidence, Says Arsene Wenger

Gregory Wakeman

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are destined to be intrinsically linked when the history of the beautiful game is discussed over the next decades.

At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo is probably regarded the more superior player. This is because he has already scored 18 goals this season in just 11 games. Meanwhile Lionel Messi has only notched seven goals in the same amount of matches.

However Lionel Messi shouldn't feel too bad though. He still has four Ballon d'Or accolades in comparison to the Portuguese forward's two, while he has also picked up several La Liga and Champions League honors too.

During a discussion with beIN Sport, via 101 Great Goals, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed that he believes that Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning run of form has actually affected Lionel Messi's poor spate of performances.

The French coach explained that Lionel Messi is also suffering because he is now currently being played out on the wing for Barcelona in order to accommodate Luis Suarez.

"When Messi sees how many goals Ronaldo has been scoring, it affects his morale. If he's played out on the wing (to incorporate Suarez centrally), he won't be able to keep up his goal ratio. He won't be happy. A team's best player has power within the club. If he doesn't like his role or position, that can weaken the team as a group."

Meanwhile Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to go up against each other on Tuesday evening in Manchester, England. Argentina will take on Portugal at Old Trafford, which is where Ronaldo used to ply his trade while playing for Manchester United between 2003 and 2009.

Rumors linking Ronaldo with Barcelona also started to emerge at the end of last week. It's believed that Joan Laporta, who is set to run for the position of Barcelona president at some point in the near future, held a lunch meeting with Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, where he enquired about the player's release clause.

Mendes is thought to have told Laporta that it would cost Barcelona around $1.25 billion to even get Real Madrid to consider selling the forward. They would then have to try and convince Cristiano Ronaldo to actually make the transfer though.

[Image via Salzburg]