Football

Cristiano Ronaldo challenged Lionel Messi to love to Italy earlier this week.

Football Manager 2019 simulates the outcome if Leo Messi joined Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A

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Cristiano Ronaldo challenged Lionel Messi to follow his footsteps and move to Serie A earlier this week.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, per ESPN, he said: "Maybe [Messi] misses me.

"I've played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and with the national team while he's always been in Spain. Maybe he needs me more. For me, life is a challenge and I like it and I like making people happy.

"I'd like it if he came to Italy one day. He should do like me and accept the challenge. But if he's happy there then I respect that: he's a fantastic footballer, a great lad, but I'm not missing anything here. This is my new life and I'm happy."

As things stand, there is very little chance that Messi leaves Barcelona for any club.

But, if Messi was to accept Ronaldo's challenge and leave Spain for Italy, what would happen?

Using Football Manager 2019, Planet Football have simulated the outcome of the 2018/19 season if Messi decided to take up Ronaldo's challenge.

They have placed Messi at Napoli, the club closest to Juventus in terms of quality and budget in Italy.

And here's what happened...

Both teams started as the two dominant teams in Serie A.

Individually, FM 2019 predicted Lionel Messi wouldn't fare as well as Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A

At the half-way mark, Juventus lead the way having accumulated 45 points, with Napoli two points further back.

Both teams also qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

However, the momentum shifted in the second half of the campaign.

After Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League, they managed to push on in Serie A.

Juventus, on the other hand, struggled in the league in the second half of the campaign.

They managed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League but were knocked out by Manchester City.

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And Napoli, buoyed on by Messi, managed to win Serie A by three points.

Although Messi and Napoli managed to conquer Serie A, Ronaldo had the better season individually.

Messi tallied 15 goals and 15 assists in 41 games in the 2018/19 season, while Ronaldo scored 33 goals and created 20 goals for his teammates.

They both received 16 man-of-the-match awards over the course of the season.

Ronaldo was also slightly higher rated over the course of the season, being given a 7.95 average match rating compared to 7.82 for Messi.

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Topics:
Football
Portugal Football
Spain Football
England Football
Juventus
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City

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