The former Manchester United defender senses time has finally caught up with Messi and Ronaldo following their recent failures in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are arguably two of the greatest footballers of all-time. Both have reached unbelievable heights in their respective careers, smashing records at ease and winning countless silverware.
But success in Europe has been harder to obtain in the twilight phase of their playing days.
Messi, now 33, is coming under increased scrutiny at Barcelona. That humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on Friday not only extended his Champions League title drought to over five years, but he was powerless to prevent it. There are even rumors he may quit Camp Nou this summer.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, has enjoyed mixed success with Juventus. The 35-year-old may have won back-to-back Serie A titles, but he’s yet to win another Champions League crown following another unsuccessful attempt.
Now John O’Shea, who played alongside Ronaldo for all six of his seasons at United, believes time may have caught up with his old teammate and Messi.
Speaking to Sunday Sport on RTE, the former defender questioned whether Messi will ever return to the top at Barcelona and analyzed how the younger generation are beginning to take center stage in Europe.
“You can never see Messi in another team shirt but it’s getting to that stage, what does he think, how long does he have left at the top, how long will it take Barca to get back there,” said O’Shea as quoted on the Irish Independent.
“They have spent quite a bit over the last few years, it’s not like they haven’t given the support to the managers, they have done.
“They have a fantastic academy and I am sure they have two or three youngsters there to come in, but Messi could be one to watch, there is already talk of where he might end up and where Ronaldo might end up.
“But for the first time in a long time neither of them are in the semi-finals, it shows you there are younger players coming into the mix now, the likes of Messi and Ronaldo are challenging each other in terms of numbers but they could be coming to an end in terms of their era of dominating in Europe.”