Never saw Lionel Messi as a rival: Cristiano Ronaldo

They might have been the faces of El Clasico rivalry for close to a decade but Cristiano Ronaldo has said he never saw Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as his “rival”. The Juventus forward, who scored twice in their 3-0 Champions League win over Barcelona on Tuesday, added he has always gotten along well with his nemesis as the two footballlegends met on the pitch for the first time since Ronaldo moved from Real Madrid to Turin in 2018.

Speaking to Movistar after the big-ticket clash, Ronaldo flaunted his equation with Messi, pointing out that they have been good friends off the field despite what the hype around the rivalry between the two greats over the years. It was their 36th meeting in a competitive fixture on Tuesday but it turned out to be a one-sided affair.

“I never saw him (Messi) as a rival. He always tried the best for his team and I tried the best for mine. I always got on well with him. I am sure he will say the same if you ask him. I have always had a cordial relationship with him,” Ronaldo said.

“As I have said before, for 12, 13, 14 years [I have been] sharing prizes with him. But we know in football people always look for a rivalry to create more excitement.”

Over the last 12 years, Ronaldo and Messi have shared between them the Ballon d’Or 11 times and swept away several football honours, leaving very little for the rest. Their on-field rivalry was at its peak when the two came up against each other in those blockbuster Clasico fixtures.


“Messi is the same as ever. Barcelona are in a difficult moment, but they are still Barca. I am sure they will come out of it. All teams have bad runs, but Barcelona are a very good team,” Ronaldo said.


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