We started putting Messi, Ronaldo in the locker room – Jabaleta jokes about Man City takeover

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Changed 07 May 2020, 06:02 IST

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Pablo Jabaleta and Lionel Messi in 2014

Pablo Jabaleta has revealed that Manchester City players put Lonal Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the locker room after they took charge in 2006.

Jabaleta joined City from Espanyol after Abu Dhabi United spent the Premier League outfit after taking charge of the club.

The full back said City players were ready to welcome Barcelona star Messi and Ronaldo, then at Manchester United, to the club.

“The purchase of the club was effected by the people of Abu Dhabi ten days after my arrival,” Jabaleta told La Nacion.

“Four days later they invested কোটি 400 million for Robinho and there I said, ‘What do I do now? I’m going to stay here for six months.’

“We took it a bit as a joke and … we started putting ‘Messi’, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ in the locker room. We were ourselves *******.”

Jabaleta, who left City for West Ham in 2017, is close to retiring from club football.

The 35-year-old last played for Argentina in 201 and discussed the impact Messi, 56, has had on the nation, saying it was bigger than just the field.

“Leo, everything on the field except the AFA would have lacked it as well [Argentine Football Association] “It would have cost a lot less money,” Jabaleta said.

“Of course Leo has made a lot of money and that means more money for Argentine clubs. Leo is involved in the infrastructural development of Argentine football.

“Leo is a product that generates millions and Argentine football should be grateful all his life because for him, the AFA had a few million dollars that he must have poured into the clubs.”