Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger feels that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's excellent form this season is demoralising Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
While Messi dominated European football for many years, winning the Ballon d'Or for four successive years from 2009-2012, Ronaldo has been in excellent form of late.
Last season, the Portuguese was named the best footballer in the world after he scored 51 goals from 47 appearances to help his side secure the Copa Del Rey and Champions League trophy.
Ronaldo has been in even better form this season as he has already netted 18 goals from 10 appearances in the La Liga, helping his side sit two points clear at the top of the table.
And Wenger feels that Messi, who has only managed to net seven goals from 11 games in the La Liga so far, may be demoralised by Ronaldo's success.
"When Messi sees that Ronaldo has scored so many more goals than him, it will play on his morale," the Frenchman told BeIn Sport.
The Arsenal boss feels that Messi being played out of position on the wings (to accommodate new signing Luis Suarez) is the reason behind his reduced goal tally this season
"On the wings, he cannot maintain his goal average. In the long term, he won't be happy," added the 65-year-old boss.
"The best player in the team has a power within the club. He can make the coach better if there is chemistry between them. So, if his position doesn't suit him, it weakens the team as whole."
Meanwhile, Wenger says he is certain that Mesut Ozil will return to being the best, once he makes a comeback from injury.
The 26-year-old, who is only expected to return next year following a knee ligament injury suffered on international duty, has been thoroughly criticised for his poor performances with the Gunners in the Premier League and other competitions this season.
But Wenger insists that the German will regain his former form once he regains his full fitness.
"I think, at Real, he played in a very strong team and he had a very good season with us last year," the Arsenal manager told BeIn Sports. "But he had the World Cup and came back tired. We will see the best Ozil when he returns."
The Frenchman also dismissed speculations of there being problems with Ozil and Sanchez due to them playing for rival teams in Spain.
"I was not aware of the supposed problems between Ozil and Sanchez. For me, there is no problem."