'Cristiano Ronaldo wants UEFA Champions League football because of Lionel Messi'

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It has been claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United because he is concerned about being eclipsed by Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League.

It recently emerged that the Portuguese forward wants to quit United ahead of next season amid concerns he will not be able to compete for the biggest trophies at Old Trafford.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the all-time Champions League top scorers (excluding qualifying), according to UEFA

Reports suggest that the Red Devils' failure to qualify for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League is the biggest factor in the player's desire for an exit.

The 37-year-old is also believed to be worried about the club's lack of signings, despite 13 players having already left the club over the past month, according to Sky Sports.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's super-agent Jorge Mendes is said to already be looking for potential suitors for the marksman, despite the English club's reported intention to retain the goal-poacher's services.

Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes Ronaldo wants to leave the Theatre of Dreams because he wants to remain the record goalscorer in the Champions League, with Messi still posing a threat to that feat.

"Ronaldo is a player, as always, that has an ego," he told talkSPORT.

"A lot of it is about him but the teams he's played in have been successful, so you always go with that as a team player.

"Great, he scores goals, he gets the accolades, he's one of the greatest that's ever played the game.

Read: Ronaldo 'offered' to LaLiga giants

"You can have all that and that's fine, as long as you're winning. When you don't win, now you've got a problem.

"I said to you off-air, I'm a bit suspicious because he's got 141 (sic) goals in the Champions League. Messi has got 125.

"He doesn't want to not play Champions League football because he wants to be the greatest Champions League goalscorer of all time, and that's how Ronaldo is made."

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