Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos has had a number of heated encounters with Barcelona star Lionel Messi over the years.
El Clasico has always been a tense affair and quite often, the two players find themselves tangling with each other.
Messi has, a number of times, as he has with almost every opponent he’s faced, left Ramos in the dust a couple of times.
So one would have expected Ramos to be excited to see the back of the Argentine after he expressed his desire to leave the Catalan club.
Ramos, however, wants Messi to stay.
Speaking at the Spanish national team’s press conference Ramos said while Messi has earned the right to a move, he hopes he does not leave.
“He’s earned the right to decide his future, but I don’t know if it’s the best way,” he said.
According to him, losing Messi would be a huge loss to Barcelona and the Spanish league.
“For Spanish football, for Barcelona and for us, we’d like him to stay. Leo makes the Spanish league, his team and the Clasicos better.
“You always like beating the best and he’s one of the best in the world.”
Messi’s expression of his desire to leave Barcelona sent shockwaves through the world of football and left fans of the Spanish giants scrambling.
Frustrated by recent goings-on at the club and humiliated by Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich, Messi wants out immediately.
The player cited a clause in his contract which allows him to leave Barcelona for free at the end of every season but Barcelona, unwilling to let their star asset leave so easily, claim the clause expired in June, and any potential buyer would have to pay Messi’s astronomical £623million release clause.
The situation has become so heated that even La Liga have jumped in, siding with the club in the dispute, with suggestions that the league is desperate not to lose Messi, a few years after Cristiano Ronaldo switched camps to the Italian Serie A.
The Argentine is now locked in an impasse with the club, which threatens to boil over into a very hostile situation.
Reports have indicated that Messi has agreed personal terms on a deal worth £623 million with Man City although there’s been no confirmation from either the player or the club.
The player has refused to join the side for preseason and missed the team’s medical tests.