Football is all about respect and Messi and Ronaldo have once again proved that they are only rivals and not enemies.
Cristiano Ronaldo admitted that his long-time rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him “a better player” and that he enjoys a “healthy” rivalry with the Argentine great.
Ronaldo told Portuguese channel TVI: “I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciates.
It is a good rivalry that exists in football, but this is no exception. Michael Jordan had rivals in basketball, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were great rivals in Formula 1, the only common point between all the big rivalries in the sport is that they are healthy.
Messi makes me a better player and vice versa.”
Ronaldo further added: “I have an excellent professional relationship with Messi because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years. I have never been to dinner with him but why not in the future? I would have no problem with doing that.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were both present in the UEFA awards ceremony on Thursday. They had made the Ballon d’Or their individual prize for a decade, winning five times apiece before Luka Modric broke their stranglehold last year.
Messi and Ronaldo finished second and third respectively for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2018/19, which was won by Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 and Messi recently confessed he has missed having the Portugal international in LaLiga.
Speaking at UEFA’s award ceremony ahead of Thursday’s Champions League draw, Ronaldo thanked Messi for helping him to raise his game and vowed to maintain his high-performance levels. He said : “We have shared the stage [for] 15 years. I don’t know if that’s happened before – the same two guys, all the time. We had that battle in Spain, I pushed him, and he pushed me. So, it’s good to be part of the history of football.
Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven’t had dinner together yet, but maybe in the future! Leo is two years younger than me but I look good for my age. I hope to be here next year and in two or three. People who don’t like me will continue to see me here.”
Messi finished ahead of Ronaldo in the voting to be named as the Forward of the Season for the 2018-19 Champions League. He said: “With Cristiano, it was a beautiful rivalry.
It’s nice to score goals. The goal is always to try to do things to win, before scoring. But if you can win and score, then [it’s] better.”
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