Cristiano Ronaldo insisted that one doesn’t “have to hate Lionel Messi” but admitted that he is not friends with the Argentine superstar.
- Ronaldo speaks on his relationship with Messi
- Admitted there is no friendship
- Claimed that he does not have a rivalry with Messi
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese spoke candidly about his relationship with Messi and claimed that the rivalry between arguably the two greatest players of all time is over. He urged his fans to respect both players “who changed the history of football” and not “hate” the Argentine maestro.
WHAT THEY SAID: “If you like Cristiano, you don’t have to hate Messi. The two changed the history of football and are respected. Rivalry? I don’t see those things like that, we shared the stage for 15 years. I’m not saying we are friends but we respect each other,” he told reporters.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo and Messi spent over a decade in Spain, playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, pushing each other’s limits and defying all odds to script one of the most spectacular sporting rivalries in sporting history. However, both superstars have left Europe in the twilight of their careers to pursue fresh challenges. While Ronaldo opted to join Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Messi has shifted base to the United States and plies his trade for Inter Miami in the MLS.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo will be back in action on Friday against Slovakia in a Euro 2024 qualifier, while Messi will lead the Argentine side against Ecuador in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening.
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