Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi have been friends since they were teenagers and get on well both on and off the pitch.
Because they know each other so well, Aguero wouldn’t have been too surprised when Messi turned down his personal invitation to watch the Champions League semi-final second leg between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Bernabeu earlier this week.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Messi refused to accept his old pal’s invite because he knew Barcelona’s fierce domestic rivals would progress to the final.
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The report adds that Messi didn’t hold out much hope for Manuel Pellegrini’s side and told Aguero that, rather than watching the match, he preferred to spend time with his family at home.
Messi was right to be pessimistic for Man City. The Premier League club only lost 1-0 on the night but were outplayed by their Spanish opponents for almost all of the match.
Real Madrid to play Atletico on May 28
Fernando’s own goal in the 20th minute was enough to send Zinedine Zidane’s men into the final, where they will take on local rivals Atletico at the San Siro on May 28.
Rather than watching the match on television - or even the highlights, for that matter - Messi reportedly found out which team advanced to the final by asking some of the people close to him what happened during the game.
Ronaldo can put himself in pole position for Ballon d'Or
The Argentine superstar makes it abundantly clear that he ranks team honours as far more important than individual accolades, but if Real Madrid win the Champions League it would surely boost Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of winning a fourth Ballon d’Or in January.
Messi won a record-breaking fifth Ballon d’Or earlier this year and will be hoping to add a sixth to his collection by helping Barcelona win La Liga later this month and Argentina secure the Copa America title in the summer.
But a Champions League triumph might be enough to fire Ronaldo into the lead for world football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
Barcelona only have themselves to blame
Messi will feel that Barcelona, with the quality at their disposal, should have advanced to the Champions League semi-finals at least.
However, the Catalan giants only have themselves to blame following their 2-0 defeat to Atletico at the Calderon last month.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo be in pole position for the Ballon d’Or if Real Madrid win the Champions League final later this month? Have your say by leaving a comment below.