Barca depend more on Messi than Madrid do on Ronaldo, says Girona boss

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Pablo Machin has sided with the capital club in the debate over whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is more important to their team

Girona boss Pablo Machin believes Barcelona depend more on Lionel Messi than Real Madrid do on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi has scored 11 goals in nine appearances in La Liga this season but struggled to make an impact for large spells of the leaders' 3-0 win at the Municipal de Montilivi last month, with Pablo Maffeo deployed in an effective man-marking role.

Barca won the game courtesy of two own goals and a second-half strike from Luis Suarez but Machin believes their relative difficulty to get control of the contest highlighted the importance of Messi to their play.

Messi hat-trick 11/2 v Bilbao

However, he expects Madrid to offer a sterner test when they visit Catalonia on Sunday even despite Ronaldo's poor run of form, with the 32-year-old having scored just once in the league in 2017-18.

"They are two very good footballers and two amazing teams. But there's a greater dependency on Messi at Barcelona than Cristiano at Madrid," Machin told a news conference.

Cristiano Ronaldo Penalty 27052016

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"They're numbers, when Messi doesn't score he gives an assist or starts the play. 

"We thought that cancelling out that source of football and goals would give us more chances of beating Barca. It started well because Messi didn't intervene, but with the own goals and the fact they're very good, they beat us well.

"Madrid have many more sources to create chances to score, they all do it. We'll have to focus on trying to stop everyone in the best way possible."

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