La Liga 'barely noticed' Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus in 2018

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Lionel Messi is looking score his 700th career goal tonight as Barcelona take on Sevilla.

The Argentine superstar has scored 629 goals for Barca and hopes to lead his side to an eleventh La Liga title this season.

The campaign has been a proper title race between Barcelona and Real Madrid, with just two points separating the two sides heading into this week's round of fixtures.

It certainly makes a nice change for the neutral considering the Camp Nou club have won the title by 14 points and 11 points respectively in the previous two campaigns.

But gone are the days that Messi’s Barcelona would go head-to-head with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid for the title. Back then, La Liga felt like a must-watch.

Many would believe La Liga is poorer for the fact the two best players in football history are no longer competing against each other.

However according to the league’s president, Javier Tebas, they ‘barely noticed’ that Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018.

“Ronaldo’s departure certainly irritated the Real Madrid fans, but his absence was barely noticed at a league level, because the Liga brand transcends individual players,” Tebas told RAC1.

“Messi's case is different. Messi is the best player in the history of football. We've been lucky enough to always have him in our league. I think Messi's exit would be noticed.

“Messi is an icon of Spanish football and I’d urge him to retire here.”

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Tebas will be hoping Messi extends his stay at the Camp Nou beyond the end of next season when his current deal is set to expire.

In fact, according to Mundo Deportivo, Messi is set to sign a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2023.

The deal will be on the same terms as his current contract but it will allow him the chance to terminate it if he decides to leave.

Tebas will be delighted.

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