LaLiga president and well-known Real Madrid fan Javier Tebas has admitted losing Lionel Messi was more painful than losing Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentine ended his 21-year stay in Barcelona after the club were unable to re-sign him when his contract expired at the end of last season.
Ronaldo left Real for Juventus in 2018 and now Messi is no longer in the Spanish top flight, but the league's president accepted this would happen some day.
"Just like when Cristiano Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho left. We knew that one day this would happen," Tebas told Sport.
"We have had the great luck of having the two best footballers in the world in the two best teams in the world and from LaLiga we have been able to take advantage of this to put ourselves on the world front line.
"Perhaps Messi's departure has been a bit more painful, because personally I consider him the best in history, and he didn't deserve to leave like that, not only for Barca but for La Liga as well."
Tebas also revealed that he spoke to Barcelona president Joan Laporta about ways to keep the Argentine at the club.
"I discussed it with [Barcelona president Joan] Laporta personally, by phone, and with his board of directors. Solutions were sought, if the reason was economic. If it has been for another reason, I can no longer value it," he added.
"I think that next season, with the numbers that Barca release, we will see if Messi could really have stayed or not. And although I respect the decision of the club, you have to tell things as they are.
"It was not an economic decision. I know for sure."
Check out the action from Ronaldo's second Manchester United debut: