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Barcelona news: Messi decision saw Real Madrid star Ronaldo mocked in dressing room

BARCELONA players praised Lionel Messi and mocked Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo in the dressing room before their Champions League clash against Sporting Lisbon, according to reports.

Barcelona sprung a major surprise before the Champions League game when they omitted Messi from their starting line-up.

The 30-year-old was rested by Ernesto Valverde with the Catalan giants already through to the knockout stages.

Spanish outlet Diario Gol claim the decision was made by Messi himself, with the Argentina international aware that bigger tests lie ahead.

And Messi’s selfless decision to rest supposedly saw Barcelona players mock Ronaldo, whose appetite to start and play in every game remains undiminished.

Ronaldo and Messi have long fought it out for the world’s individual awards.

In recent years it has been the Real Madrid man reigning supreme, with the 32-year-old firing Los Blancos to the Champions League this year and in 2016.

And Diario Gol say Barcelona players were amazed by Messi’s decision.

He reportedly is not bothered about matching Ronaldo’s European tally for the season.

While he has been misfiring in La Liga, scoring twice, he already has eight goals in the competition so far.

Ronaldo is also 16 goals clear of Messi in the list of all-time scorers, but the Barcelona forward is undeterred.

Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez, Paco Alcocer and Aleix Vidal supposedly all mocked Ronaldo after Messi’s decision.

Meanwhile, Real boss Zinedine Zidane has admitted he loves the rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi.

“It’s true, when we look at their statistics, they’re amazing,” he said.

“It’s surprising to see the amount of goals they’ve scored, actually. They’re two great players.

“One makes the other better and vice-versa. I think it’ll continue, this duel, for some time to come.”

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