Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up about his relationship with Lionel Messi, making his most candid and honest remarks yet about whether the two are actually friends. And while Cristiano Ronaldo admitted that they are far from friends, he did insist that over the years, they’ve developed a “cordial” and pleasant relationship. At first, Cristiano Ronaldo heaped praise on Lionel Messi, insisting that he loves to watch the Barcelona forward in action whenever he gets the opportunity.
“He is a star. I really enjoy watching him play.”
After praising Lionel Messi’s skill as a soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo then went into more detail about their relationship off the field, insisting that they really don’t have one. Cristiano Ronaldo refused to say that he disliked Lionel Messi, especially considering that the Argentinian has never said anything bad about him, before then declaring that their supposed rivalry has been completely invented by the media.
“How could I dislike somebody who hasn’t done anything bad against me? When they ask Messi about me, he also speaks well of me. We have a cordial relationship, one of mutual respect. [Our supposed rivalry] is a thing of the media, who have to do and sell their business.”
At the same time as insisting he has no ill-will towards Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo then went on to declare that he and the Barcelona forward are by no means friends. Instead, he referred to them as “colleagues” and went on to admit that over the past decade they have shared numerous nice exchanges and had “many moments” at the awards ceremonies they have both attended.
“I am not a friend of Messi, but we are colleagues. We have shared many moments in the awards ceremonies of the past 10 years and I have a very good relationship with him. We don’t go for dinner together, but I respect him. He is a professional colleague, not a rival.”
While Cristiano Ronaldo has now looked to downplay his rivalry with Lionel Messi, back in 2012 he was a little bit more combative during his interview with CNN.
“You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because it’s a different engine. You cannot compare them. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid. I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high. This is why Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world because everyone pushes each other, not just me and Messi but other players.”
The relationship between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has always fascinated football fans. So when Cristiano Ronaldo made the above comments to Fox Sports, via the Daily Mail, they were always going to be instantly mulled over and dissected.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are widely regarded as two of the greatest soccer players that have ever played the game, especially in the modern era. The fact that they have won the past nine world player of the year awards, otherwise known as the Ballon d’Or, is the ultimate proof of just how much they have dominated the sport over the last decade.
Both players have also scored over 500 goals each for both club and country, while Lionel Messi has won eight league championships with Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo has picked up five with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Lionel Messi has also won four Champions League honors with the Catalan giants, a record that Cristiano Ronaldo has the opportunity to match this coming weekend when Real Madrid take on Juventus in Cardiff.
[Featured Image by Getty/ Philipp Schmidli]