Lionel Messi should be assigned as much blame for Barca’s failures as he is also praised for their success, according to Brazil legend Ronaldo.
The Argentina international was near his best in the first leg of the Champions League game against Liverpool, scoring two goals, including a remarkable free-kick from distance to help his team to a 3-0 advantage at Camp Nou.
But the match finished in a nightmare for Barca as Liverpool struck back at Anfield for a 4-0 win thanks to doubles from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Messi was among the group of Barca players who struggled in the loss, with the star man unable to reach the heights he had in the first leg.
It was the second straight season the Catalan club was knocked out of the Champions League after wasting a three-goal first leg advantage.
And former Barca and Real Madrid star Ronaldo believes that if Messi is given the lionshare of the credit when Barca triumph, then he must share with team-mates in the failure.
“It is unfair to point the culprits to a defeat,” Ronaldo said at a Santander event. “I see that Barcelona has a great team and has the best player in the world, which is Messi.
“The other day I read that other players lost and Barca wins [because of] Messi. It is a tremendous injustice to all the players and the coaching staff.
“Barcelona is a great team with great players and very good coaches. You should be a little more careful with criticism.”
Asked about the result of the tie itself, Ronaldo said: “[Liverpool] had more motivation, intensity and desire,” Ronaldo added. “In the first part, Barcelona had chances to score a goal that would have changed everything. But Liverpool deserved it. They have shown strength and emotional intelligence.
“In the fourth goal there was a mistake, but I think that if it had not [been scored], it would have arrived in a different way. They played the game of their lives.