Cristiano Ronaldo says his long-running 'rivalry’ with Lionel Messi is over

Manu Fernandes/AP

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had many fights with each other throughout their careers.


Cristiano Ronaldo Or Lionel Messi? The debate has been going on Football Fans have been entertained for over a decade. Some are content to praise both players, while others sit more firmly on one side of the debate or the other.

But according to Ronaldo, The „Competition” The pair have disappeared since moving European clubs to pastures new – Ronaldo to Al-Nasser in Saudi Arabia and Messi to Inter Miami in the US.

„I don’t see things like that, the competition is gone. It was good, the fans liked it. People who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi. They are both very good, they changed the history of football,” Ronaldo, 38, told reporters as he prepared to play Portugal in a European Championship qualifier.

Ronaldo and Messi spent the prime of their careers playing in Spain for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, which helped fuel the rivalry between the players and their fans.

While playing in Spain, the pair dominated the game.

Messi finished his time Blugrana With an impressive four Champions League titles, Ronaldo left Spanish football having won five. White people 2016 to 2018. Messi also added 10 La Liga titles and Ronaldo won two.

In terms of individual honours, the pair have won 12 of the 13 Ballon d’Or awards presented between 2008 and 2021 – Ronaldo won five and Messi won seven.

Throughout their time in Spain, the pair broke goal record after goal record. Ronaldo finished his Barca career with an astonishing 672 goals in 778 games, including an astonishing 450 in 438 games for Real Madrid.

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„We are respected around the world, which is very important,” Ronaldo said. „He’s following his way, I’m following mine. He’s done well from what I’ve seen. We carry on, the legacy carries on, the competition – I don’t see it that way.

He added: „We’ve shared the stage for 15 years and we’re done, I wouldn’t say friends, but we’re colleagues and we respect each other.”

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Messi is currently playing for Inter Miami in MLS.

With many players Securing big money moves for football clubs in Saudi ArabiaRonaldo spoke about the criticism leveled at the Saudi Pro League (SPL).

“Criticism is normal, what league isn’t? Where there are no problems or disputes?” he asked.

Ronaldo prided himself on growing the league and attracting other star players.

„I know, I keep saying it, everyone thought I was crazy … crazy isn’t so crazy anymore,” he said. „Playing in the Arab League has become normal.”

Ahmed Yosri/Reuters

Ronaldo is now playing in the Saudi Pro League on several new contracts.

Since Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia, Neymar, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Marcelo Brosovic have been among the star names to make the switch to the SPL.

„As an Al-Nasr player, I know it will happen, it’s a privilege to change the culture of a country and of football, it makes me proud to have big names. I was a pioneer and I’m proud of that,” outlined Ronaldo.

„I want it to always grow, let it become world class.”

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