Lionel Messi vs Sergio Ramos: Best of enemies to new PSG team-mates?

Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos certainly didn’t see eye to eye during their time on the El Clasico divide – with bad blood spilling over on numerous occasions.

For the best part of 15 years, Messi and Ramos enjoyed many incredible clashes during the most glamourous fixture in European football as the two Spanish giants battled it out for LaLiga glory season after season.

While there was respect between the Messi and Ramos on a playing level, there was definitely no love lost however and the pair didn’t hide their ill-feelings towards each other.

But after years and years of fierce battles, the duo could now sensationally link up at Paris Saint-Germain with Messi reportedly close to joining the French giants on a two-year deal worth a staggering £70million.

It would be some story – something football fans would never have imagined when delving into the bitter history between the pair.

Their rivalry finally came to an end earlier this summer when former Real Madrid captain and centre back Ramos completed a free transfer to PSG to bring his illustrious 16-year spell to a close.

Little did anyone know that Messi would soon potentially be following in his footsteps after Barcelona failed to agree a contract extension for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner – plunging the Spaniards into further chaos amid their financial crisis.

And perhaps the pair will be thankful that they may be linking up rather than lining up on either side of the pitch – arguably Ramos more so than Messi.

Ramos, on many occasions, has experienced Messi’s magic during the El Clasico and it’s fair to say that the Spanish great hasn’t taken well to the Argentine’s trickery.

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Ramos has conjured up a whole host of nasty tackles on Messi down the years as Madrid struggled to deal with his mesmering skills.

In fact, Ramos has even been sent off twice for kicking out at one of Barcelona’s greatest ever player.

The first time was when Barcelona humiliated their arch rivals Madrid at the Nou Camp 5-0 in November 2010.

In stoppage-time with Barcelona taking the mickey, Messi embarrassed Ramos with his close control and dribbling and after getting away from his fierce rival, the Spaniard decided to get some revenge.

Ramos completely and needlessly hacked the Argentine down – leading to him receiving his marching orders in the 93rd minute to compound Madrid’s misery.

The pair had many other bickers in between but in 2017, Ramos was again sent off for a dirty tackle on Messi.

In April of that year, Ramos was shown another straight red for a two-footed lunge on Messi who was looking to break on the counter with Barcelona defending a 2-1 advantage at the Bernabeu.

In that same year, Ramos was said to have been furious with Messi upon discovering that he sent messages to Atletico Madrid players before the Madrid derby – which could have played a key role in the title race.

Madrid were just two points ahead of Barcelona in the title race and Ramos was angry with Messi ‘playing dirty’. Fortunately for him, the Bernabeu outfit ended up winning LaLiga by three points.

But it was in 2019 when the animosity between Messi and Ramos reached boiling point.

In March that year at the Bernabeu, Ramos and Messi were involved in two flashpoints in the first half but the former was lucky to escape without a yellow card, especially after the second incident.

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The Madrid captain swiped his elbow across Messi’s face as the duo battled for the ball – which led to the Barcelona star angrily confronting Ramos with the pair squaring up to each other.

After leaning their heads in to one another, the pair had to quickly be separated by their team-mates. And after the game, Ramos claimed that Messi had over-reacted.

‘I did not mean to catch in him. However, he has taken it very badly and stayed down. The referee made the decision and that is the end of it for me.’

The rivalry and bitterness was clear for all to see, and they even snubbed each other when asked who their toughest opponents have been.

Last year, Messi was asked to pick the toughest man-marker he has ever come across, and did not mention Ramos – instead choosing Stuttgart right back Pablo Maffeo, who is now on loan at Mallorca.

Messi told DAZN ‘Man-marking doesn’t bother me — you know that there will be tough matches and it can be strange to always have someone around you.

‘In truth, it hasn’t happened to me that often. It doesn’t bother me, but it is strange. ‘Pablo Maffeo of Girona [was the toughest man-marker]. That was intense.’

And Ramos previously snubbed Messi when he opened up about the toughest player he has ever battled it out against.

‘There’ve been many. Ronaldinho was virtually unstoppable at his best, as a forward or a playmaker,’ he admitted.

‘Samuel Eto’o, on his day, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a striker who was a lot of trouble with his size, holds the ball up well, plays great with his back to goal and was fast.’

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The pair clearly didn’t want to acknowledge each other’s greatness during their Madrid vs Barcelona days, but it’s safe to say that tune has slightly changed now Ramos has made the switch to Paris.

When asked about Messi, whose future has been very unclear for months now, Ramos admitted he would very much like to play alongside the six-time Ballon d’Or winner if he ever had the chance to.

‘I like to play with the best players and Messi has been one of the best in the world,’ the 35-year-old defender previously said in an interview with TNT Sports.

‘I have always said that Messi will always have a role in my team.’

Well Ramos’ comments could very soon turn into reality, with PSG hopeful of capitalising on Barca’s misfortunes and wrapping up a deal for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

While a partnership with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe would certainly leave fans licking their lips, it would be fascinating to also see Messi link up with Ramos following their glorious battles against each other down the years in Spain.

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