Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s rivalry is already regarded by many as the greatest in the history of soccer.
The Real Madrid forward and the Barcelona striker have now won seven Ballon d’Ors in a row. The award is the global accolade that is voted for by soccer professionals to decide who the best player in the world is.
There have been a variety of reports that both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo actually don’t get along on a personal level. However there’s no denying the fact that they both firmly respect each others’ soccer ability.
In fac,t during an interview with French magazine France Football, via AS, Cristiano Ronaldo explained that the constant comparisons between himself and Lionel Messi are only good for the pair of them.
“I’m sure that the competition between us is a motivating factor for him too. It’s good for me, for him and for other players who are keen to grow. Messi has four Ballon d’Or awards, I have three. This is all good for the world of football.”
Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or earlier this month. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi finished in second place while Bayern Munich and Germany’s Manuel Neur came in third.
Cristiano Ronaldo also picked up the Ballon d’Or for 2013, while Lionel Messi was awarded the prize for 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. Before that, while playing for Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo was given the Ballon d’Or for 2008.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, he has constantly been compared to Messi. In fact there were even rumors a few months ago that Cristiano Ronaldo used to tell his Real Madrid colleagues not to refer to Lionel Messi by his name and that they could only use a slur when mentioning him. However Cristiano Ronaldo has vehemently denied these allegations, and even threatened to sue the individual who started them.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was born in Madeira, also admitted in the same interview that despite the fact he is seen as the best soccer player in the world, he is constantly looking to improve his game.
“I’m currently trying to improve my left foot, my acceleration and my direct free-kicks. I’ve not had a great deal of success recently with them. I know that it will come back. It’s just a question of having enough humility to know that without training hard, things won’t progress. Working on my game is my guide.”
[Image via Sports Keeda]