Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Thursday said it was natural that any football club would miss the absence of a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi also said that he isn’t surprised about Real Madrid suffering in the absence of Ronaldo in the ongoing La Liga season.

Earlier in the summer transfer window, CR7 had joined Juventus after spending nearly a decade with the La Liga giants. Though the Portugal star has also found success in Serie A, Real Madrid is reeling from his absence, Real is currently placed at the third spot in the La Liga table with 29 points.

“At the beginning of the season I said they are a great club, one of the best in the world and with a lot of great players, but anyone would miss Cristiano. He scores a lot of goals and gives you many other things so it doesn’t surprise me,” Messi was quoted as saying to Marca.

However, this is not the first time when Messi has spoken about Ronaldo’s departure from Spain. Earlier at the start of the current season, Messi had said, “I was surprised by his decision, I did not think he would go from Madrid nor that he would go to Juventus. There were so many teams and I heard less about Juve but it is a very good team.”

Speaking about his rivalry with Real Madrid’s all-time highest goal-scorer during Ronaldo’s time in La Liga, Messi said it was “healthy” and “beautiful” for the spectators.

“The rivalry with Cristiano was very healthy and very beautiful for the spectators.”