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Both Messi and Cristiano are starting to be treated like regular football players

It has been a fun week for the two biggest names in football. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both had their complications, each undergoing a substitution when their respective teams needed a goal. First of all, it was Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League - once his stage. With Manchester United stuck at 1-1 with Young Boys and in need of a goal in Switzerland, Cristiano - despite having scored the opener on the night - was pulled out for Jesse Lingard. He didn't seem too happy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision, and his frustrations would only have increased when Lingard passed away late and gave the Young Boys their winner.

Then it was Messis's turn. On Sunday, Paris Saint-Germain had come back from a goal behind against Lyon to equalize through a penalty from Neymar, but with time for the end Mauricio Pochettino decided to remove the former Barcelona captain. Unlike Manchester United, PSG won without the Argentine, as compatriot Mauro Icardi scored a goal in injury time. Time waits for no man As Cristiano and Messi are learning quickly, they are both 30 years old, with Messi 34 and the Portuguese 36. It is natural that their bodies are starting to catch up with them and they need more careful handling.

Pochettino defended his decision after the match, and Messi seemed unhappy as he left the field and words were exchanged between the two. I think we all know we have great players in this 35-man team, Pochettino said. Only 11 can play, we can't play anymore. Decisions in the game are made for the good of the team and each player. Every coach thinks about that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes players like it and sometimes not. Ultimately, that's why we were here. These are decisions that must be made by the coach. As for his reaction, I asked him how he was, he said he was fine. That was it. It was our exchange.

Cristiano Ronaldo responded well, scoring for Manchester United in their West Ham win on Sunday, this time finishing 90 minutes and perhaps justifying Solksjaer's decision to put him down for a bit midweek. At their advanced age, it is likely that Messi and Cristiano will have to accept more regular replacements than before. With both clubs hoping to make money this season, they have to accept that their respective coaches will seek to manage their minutes carefully and that they will not play every second of every game.

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