Argentine football legend Lionel Messi has unfollowed Manchester United's rising star Alejandro Garnacho on Instagram, a move reportedly influenced by Garnacho's admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo. This intriguing development in the football world was highlighted by former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

According to Ferdinand, Messi's decision to unfollow Garnacho stems from the young winger's open admiration for Ronaldo, Messi's long-time rival on the pitch. Garnacho, who briefly worked alongside Ronaldo at Manchester United, is known for his fondness for the Portuguese superstar, often expressing it publicly. This includes wearing Ronaldo-inspired Nike Vapor 15 Mercurial Dream Speed boots and posting a photo of Ronaldo with a caption declaring him the greatest of all time.

The incident first came to light in April 2022 when Messi reportedly unfollowed Garnacho after the latter's Instagram post praising Ronaldo. Despite Garnacho referring to Messi as an "idol" and their current status as colleagues in the senior Argentina squad, Messi has not reciprocated the follow on Instagram.

Ferdinand shed light on this social media snub on his YouTube Channel, "Vibe with Five". He recounted Garnacho's indifference to Messi's action, quoting the young player's unabashed preference for Ronaldo. "Garnacho told me that Messi unfollowed him just because he makes no secret of preferring Ronaldo. He comes out, don't care, 'I'm a Ronaldo man'. Who's the GOAT? Ronaldo. (Even) when he's in the Argentina squad," Ferdinand shared.

This backdrop added an interesting layer to Garnacho's recent performance for Manchester United against Everton in a Premier League match. Emulating his idol, Garnacho scored a spectacular bicycle kick, reminiscent of one of Ronaldo's most famous goals. The goal not only stunned the crowd at Goodison Park but also helped secure a 3-0 victory for Manchester United. Post-scoring, Garnacho celebrated with Ronaldo's iconic "Siu" celebration, further cementing his admiration for the former Real Madrid star.

Garnacho's goal drew comparisons to Ronaldo's memorable overhead kick for Real Madrid against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League in April 2018. It also evoked memories of Wayne Rooney's extraordinary strike against Manchester City in 2011.

With this latest victory, Manchester United climbed to sixth place in the league table. Garnacho, having scored two goals in 17 matches across all competitions for the Old Trafford side this season, is emerging as a promising talent in the football world.