Lionel Messi’s standout performance during Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Liverpool was fueled by his desire to catch Cristiano Ronaldo, says Ruud Gullit.
Barcelona secured a comfortable 3-0 first leg win against Liverpool in their semi-final tie following another masterful performance from Messi.
After Luis Suarez beat the offside trap to hand Barcelona a first-half lead, Messi put them two goals up in the 75th-minute. The Argentine was on hand to finish on the rebound when Suarez hit the crossbar.
But Messi’s second goal was what got people talking as he brilliantly found the top right-hand corner of the net from around 30 yards out. It was his 600th Barcelona goal in 683 games.
Incidentally, the 31-year-old’s latest feat came just four days after Ronaldo struck his 600th club career goal. The Portuguese superstar hit the landmark by scoring an equaliser in Juventus’ 1-1 derby draw at Inter Milan last Saturday.
Based on the events at Camp Nou on Wednesday, Barcelona are the strong favourites to win the Champions League.
Should they indeed succeed, Messi will move level with Ronaldo on five Champions League titles.
The Barcelona captain has also registered an impressive 112 goals in the competition, which leaves him just 14 behind Ronaldo.
Therefore, Gullit thinks it’s obvious that Messi has made it his “mission” to catch Ronaldo in terms of Champions League goals and titles.
“Sometimes you just have to clap and acknowledge the brilliance,” the Chelsea icon told beIN SPORTS.
“600 goals in 683 games is just monstrous. It is unbelievable.
“Look, we were saying with Ronaldo when he scored the hat-trick and turned around the deficit to Atletico Madrid for Juventus that he could have been the best player.
“I think that Messi is on a mission because I think Ronaldo was also on a mission so now he knows that this is big and it is important for him.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GOALS
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 1, 2019