The football world was once witness to a fierce rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but CR7 feels that has now changed.
Cristiano Ronaldo feels his rivalry with Lionel Messi is now a thing of the past.
The two have made an indelible mark on football. Over 800 goals have each come their way, along with a combined total of 79 pieces of silverware and 12 Ballon d’Or awards.
However, with their respective club careers in Europe now over, Ronaldo reckons both he and Messi have now turned a page.
“I don’t see things like that, the rivalry is gone,” Ronaldo said as per Record. “It was good, spectators liked it.
“Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi and vice versa. We’ve done well, we have changed the history of football. We are respected all over the world, that’s the most important thing.”
‘The legacy lives on, but I don’t see the rivalry like that’
In 2023, the two players left Europe after years of dominating the continent. Ronaldo was the first to go. He joined Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr in January, while Messi signed for MLS club Inter Miami in July.
The pair have enjoyed excellent starts to their careers outside Europe. Ronaldo recently won the Arab Club Champions Cup with Al Nassr, while Messi helped Inter Miami clinch the Leagues Cup.
“He’s followed his path and I have followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe. From what I’ve seen, he’s been doing well and so have I,” Ronaldo continued.
“The legacy lives on, but I don’t see the rivalry like that. We shared the stage many times, it was 15 years. I’m not saying we’re friends, I’ve never had dinner with him, but we’re professional colleagues and we respect each other.”
Ronaldo is currently preparing for Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifier between Slovakia and Portugal.