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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Messi has ‘made me a better player’, says Cristiano Ronaldo


Cristiano Ronaldo admitted on Wednesday his long-time rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him “a better player” and that he enjoys a “healthy” rivalry with the Argentine great. They’ve gone head-to-head as the two best players in world football for the best part of a decade but Cristiano Ronaldo says he has “no doubt” that Lionel Messi made him a better player.

However, Portuguese star Ronaldo, whose influence at Real Madrid mirrored that of Messi at Barcelona before he left for Juventus, admitted that the pair has never socialized together. Messi recently admitted that he missed the Portuguese superstar in La Liga after he joined Juventus and in Ronaldo’s view, the performances and achievements of both have only helped raise one another’s game to extraordinary heights.

“I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated,” Ronaldo told TVI in Portugal. “It’s a good rivalry but it’s not unique – Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries.”


Ronaldo and Messi have won the coveted Ballon d’Or five times each, a factor that helps each player flourish. They were never exactly best pals, and certainly not cut from the same cloth personality-wise, but Messi and Ronaldo’s rivalry has always been exaggerated by the media and fans.

Messi stated that the pair “always had good vibes” whenever they saw each other at award ceremonies and Ronaldo is on the same page. In fact, Ronaldo reckons there’s no reason why the two GOATS can’t sit down and have dinner together.

Read more: Ronaldo follows in the footsteps of Messi

“I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice-versa. When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it’s the same for me when he wins,” he said. “I have an excellent professional relationship because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years,” the 34-year old added. “We’ve never had dinner together but I don’t see why we can’t in the future. I don’t see a problem with that.”

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk