Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will play in the Champions League final for the first time since 2013, but Mario Balotelli does not believe they should be criticised.
With Liverpool facing either Ajax or Tottenham in the final, the two stars - considered among the greatest players of all time - will be missing from European football's showpiece.
But Marseille striker Balotelli claims any criticism of the pair for their teams' failures is "nonsense", describing Messi as an "alien" and Ronaldo as the best.
Posting on his Instagram story after Barca's 4-0 defeat at Anfield, which resulted in a 4-3 aggregate defeat, Balotelli wrote: "Messi is an alien, despite the bad and very difficult match.
"Ronaldo remains the best player from this planet, despite not having played in the semi-finals.
"Anything else is nonsense talk. You cannot say bad things against these two for a game played badly or a missed qualification or a defeat. That would be crazy."
Despite his side’s elimination from the tournament, Messi is still the Champions League’s top scorer this season with 12 goals, four ahead of Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has six goals and two assists to his name in the continental competition this term.
Both stars have already secured some silverware this season, with Barca having wrapped up the Spanish league crown and Juve crowned Serie A champions for the sixth time in a row.