Cristiano Ronaldo shut down talk of a ‘rivalry’ with Lionel Messi after Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 on Tuesday night with some comments to Movistar via ESPN.
Ronaldo scored twice, both coming from the penalty spot after some fairly soft calls, with one for a controversial handball decision and the other for a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Ronald Araujo.
Last night’s meeting was a massive spectacle for a number of factors, it could be the last time the all-time greats share the pitch together and was their first meeting since Ronaldo left Real Madrid.
It also marked a historical moment as this was the first time that the duo had ever faced off in the Group Stages of the Champions League, but we only saw one battle due to Ronaldo having Covid-19.
Ronaldo detailed after the game that he’s always had a ‘cordial’ relationship with Messi despite the media frenzy, adding that he’s always ‘got on well’ with the Argentine.
Nothing but respect ??
Messi ? Ronaldo
? BT Sport ESPN HD pic.twitter.com/Qo1KUQKZ7Q
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2020
Here’s what Ronaldo had to say on the constant comparisons between the two all-time greats which has sparked a ‘rivalry’ in the media, when it’s anything but:
“I have always had a cordial relationship with Messi, as I have said before, for 12, 13, 14 years [I have been] sharing prizes with him.”
“I never saw him 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.”
“But we know in football, people always look for a rivalry to create more excitement.”
Ronaldo was also questioned about Barcelona’s apparent decline after a few shock results against them already this season:
“Messi is the same as ever [on the pitch], 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 and Messi have been pitted against each other for around 15 years now, with the pair combining to win 11 of the last 12 prestigious Ballon d’Or awards.
Ronaldo won one of those during his time with Manchester United and five during his spell with Real Madrid, whilst one-club man Lionel Messi has won all six of his whilst with Barcelona.
With 35-year-old Ronaldo’s and 33-year-old Messi’s illustrious careers approaching their final stages, its time for everyone to stop with the rivalry nonsense and appreciate both whilst they’re still playing.