Messi and Ronaldo 'not intelligent' in making PSG and Man Utd moves, claims Anelka

Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Getty/Goal

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's decisions to move to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have not been "intelligent", according to Nicolas Anelka, with the former France star stating there would have been no shame in both hanging up their boots.

The Argentine and Portuguese superstars sent shockwaves last summer when they moved to new pastures, with the former ending his lifelong Barcelona career to head to Parc des Princes and the latter snubbing Manchester City for an Old Trafford homecoming.

But fortunes have been mixed, with both out of the Champions League, and now ex-World Cup winner Anelka has weighed in on their trials, stating that they should have chosen easier destinations, such as China, to wrap up if they insisted on playing on.

What has been said?

"This is what happens to players who want to play longer," Anelka told RMC Sport. “Their careers are over and I think they must both be very happy with what they have achieved in the last 15 years. They were above the others and now it is normal for them to slow down.

"I was more surprised with Messi than with Ronaldo, I thought that Messi would turn around in France and Ronaldo would have more difficulties in England because, for me, the Premier League is the most demanding championship in the world.

"[They] were not intelligent. They should have thought of facing a less complicated challenge because you have to make the right decisions to finish at the top. There are players who don't hesitate to finish at 32, 33, 34 so as not to be criticized. I stopped at 36, but at 32 I went to China."

How have Messi and Ronaldo fared this season?

Both the 34-year-old Messi and 37-year-old Ronaldo have endured seriously mixed fortunes this season, albeit at differing levels.

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Though both are out of Europe, it is paradoxically the former who has underperformed and will let end the year a league champion in France, while the latter will finish empty-handed despite being one of United's best players.

Whether both stick around for the second year of their contracts remains to be seen, though with an eye on the Qatar 2022 World Cup at the end of the year, neither player may wish to uproot themselves at short notice.

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