Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has absolved Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho from any blame for the Catalan side’s disappointing exit from the Champions League.
Liverpool overturned Barcelona’s three-goal advantage earned from their first leg semi-final clash played at Nou Camp to progress to the finals.
Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum, each, scored a brace at Anfield in the reverse tie to gift the Reds a 4-0 win to qualify on a 4-3 goal aggregate.
Coutinho has been on the receiving end following Barca’s exit from the tournament, with both the media and fans criticizing the Brazilian for his lacklustre performances in both fixtures.
However, in an apparent support for the former Liverpool striker, Ronaldo has suggested that not enough focus has been placed on Messi after the exit.
“It is unfair to point out culprits after a defeat. I see that Barcelona has a great team and has the best player in the world, which is Messi,” the Portuguese talisman was quoted saying.
“The other day I heard that when they lose, it’s because of Valverde, Coutinho… But not Messi. And when they win, Barcelona win because of Messi. It’s a tremendous lack of respect to all the players and the coaching staff.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool are now scheduled to battle Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, who also staged a comeback against Ajax Amsterdam in the semis to qualify for the finals.