The Merengue are yet to reach the same heights as when the brilliant striker was on their team - a fate Barca are yet to suffer with their talisman

Pep Guardiola believes Barcelona are in line for a lean period similar to that suffered by Real Madrid in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure when Lionel Messi finally leaves Camp Nou.

The Argentine has played his entire professional career in Catalunya after leaving his native Rosario for Barcelona in his early teens.
"I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone's name," Leo fired on Instagram in response to an interview given by the Barca director in which he suggested certain unnamed individuals were not giving 100 per cent.

Barca have since moved to play down rumours of a rift, with coach Quique Setien assuring that Messi was his usual "smiling" self in training on Wednesday.
Madrid already know what it is like to lose an idol, suffering a barren 2018-19 season following Ronaldo's move to Juventus having won three Champions Leagues in each of the Portuguese's last three seasons.
And Pep, who knows Messi and Barca better than most after leading the club to glory as a coach, warned his former employers they must steel themselves for the superstar's possible exit.
"It is inevitable, these players are so important," the Manchester City boss told Post United when quizzed on Madrid's post-Cristiano difficulties.
"When Messi leaves Barca they will need some time to re-adjust. It is inevitable.
"These guys score 40 or 50 goals a season."
Guardiola spent more than 20 years at Barcelona as a coach and player, a link that ended in 2012 with his resignation from the bench.
The previous four seasons have gone down in club folklore, with Barca winning three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and a total of 14 trophies while widely being tipped as one of the greatest sides ever to play the game.
But there is one game more than most that stands out for the coach: a 6-2 thrashing of Madrid in the Bernabeu in May 2009 on their way to the La Liga crown.
"When people ask me about the title I've won that gets me most excited in my career as a manager, I say that it's the first league I won with Barcelona," he added.
"The first La Liga we won, we won it there. That 2-6 came on the back of 12 victories in a row for them. They lost the next four.
"We knew that if we lost that game with the team that they had, it would have been difficult. It was a great day."