Lionel Messi has downplayed any supposed rivalry that he has with Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting that any solo awards he has won mean nothing.
Messi, who has played for Barcelona throughout his career, declared that he does not want to compete with Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, and that he is only focused on adding to the trophies that he was won alongside his Nou Camp compatriots.
Over the last six years, Ronaldo and Messi have won every Ballon d’Or award, and because of this, the duo are often compared to one another. It also helps that they each have astonishing goal scoring records for their clubs too.
But Messi has now looked to distance himself from such comparisons, and he has also declared that he actually doesn’t like competing against Ronaldo.
“Competing with Cristiano? I don’t feel like competing with him or anyone else. It’s not about individual awards. I want to help my team. I don’t think about my place in football history. I just want to keep getting better and win trophies with my team.”
Meanwhile, Messi believes that his Barcelona teammate, Neymar, will eventually become better than both him and Ronaldo to become the best player in soccer.
“It’s only his second year here, but I have a great relation with Neymar, both on and off the pitch. He’s a great kid. Because of his potential, I think Neymar could become the best in the world. He’s a great player; it’s a pleasure to play with him.”
Ronaldo is currently the slight favorite to re-claim the Ballon d’Or prize he picked up last season. If he does, it will be the third time he has claimed the accolade after collecting it for his performances at Manchester United in 2009 too. This will leave him just one away from Messi, who currently was awarded it four times between 2010 and 2013.
Messi and Ronaldo are also set to go toe-to-toe against each other’s national sides in November. The match will be held at Old Trafford, where Ronaldo used to play for United, which is expected to be filled with Red Devils fans who will each make it clear that they want him to return to England. This will also come just a few weeks after the two have played in the first El Clasico of the season, which will see Barcelona tackle Real Madrid at the Bernabeu at the end of October.
[Image via Ugen Cio Logo]