Arguably the biggest every debate in this era of football has been to decide the better footballer between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It started at the beginning of this century when Messi made his debut for Barcelona and Ronaldo for Manchester United, and the discussion reached its peak since 2009 when the Portuguese shifted base to Spain to join Real Madrid. Both have notched up umpteen records set new standards in world football and won trophies for their team and on individual level. On Friday, Ronaldo opened up on his long-term rivalry with Messi and his true feelings towards the Argentine both as a player and as a person.
Ronaldo grabbed headlines earlier this week following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV where he immensely criticised his present club Manchester United and the incumbent manager Erik ten Hag. He also hit back at his former teammates, Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney, for criticising him.
However, the interview also saw Ronaldo discuss other topics from his career, which includes his rivalry with Messi. The Portuguese revealed that he has huge respect for the PSG star.
“Amazing player, he is magic, top,’ Ronaldo said. As a person, we share the stage 16 years, imagine, 16 years we share. So, I have great relationship with him. I’m not a friend of him in terms of, what I mean friend is the guy who was with you in your house, speaking on the phone, no, but it’s like a team-mate. He’s a guy that I really respect the way he always speaks about me. Even his wife or and my girlfriend, they always respect and they’re from Argentina. My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good. What I am going to say about Messi? A great guy who does great things for football.”
When asked if he is the best player he has ever seen during his career, Ronaldo replied saying, “Probably the best player I’ve ever seen (excluding myself). Maybe Zidane. That I play and fight with, yes.”
Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United remains uncertain while Messi is in the final year of his career at PSG. There have been a lot of talks about their future, one of which pertained to their link-up with a move to Inter Miami in MLS.
Reacting to the possibility of the two being part of the same team, Ronaldo jokingly said they would ‘sell a lot of shirts’.