‘The rivalry is gone’: Cristiano Ronaldo relives iconic duel with Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about his iconic rivalry with Inter Miami star Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two greatest footballers of all-time, were involved in one of the most thrilling rivalries during their time in Europe. Their duel reached its peak when the two mavericks were in Spain. Ronaldo and Messi managed to set an unprecedented supremacy in modern football as either of the two greats won the Ballon d'Or trophy every year from 2008 to 2017. Having won a combined 79 trophies, Ronaldo and Messi ruled the football world for more than a decade. Moreover, they are the only two footballers to have scored over 800 individual goals. The Portuguese superstar recently recalled his iconic rivalry with Messi. Reliving the memories, Ronaldo termed his long-standing duel with Messi as "gone.”
“I don't see things like that, the rivalry is gone. 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 former Manchester United and Real Madrid footballer told Record, a Portuguese newspaper.
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Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the only footballer in the world to have scored 850 goals. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner achieved this astonishing feat during his side Al Nassr’s convincing 5-1 win against Al Hazem last Saturday. Ronaldo netted a goal in the 68th minute of the Saudi Pro League fixture to set the record. But Ronaldo, even at the age of 38, does not want to stop here. His desire and hunger to achieve success in the Al Nassr jersey seems to have not diminished yet.
"It's a historic landmark. For me it was a source of pride the numbers I achieved, which I didn't think I could reach. But I want more. While playing the game, the bar has to be high, thinking big,” Ronaldo said.
Ronaldo’s stint in European football came to an end last season after he decided to ply his trade for Riyadh-based club Al Nassr. He has so far netted 26 goals in 30 appearances for Al Nassr across all competitions. Ronaldo had scored a brace last month to guide Al-Nassr to their maiden Arab Club Champions Cup title. Al-Nassr scripted a remarkable comeback to beat another Saudi outfit Al Hilal 2-1 to clinch the trophy. Ronaldo had also emerged as the highest goal-scorer in the tournament which comprised top sides from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
Meanwhile, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is currently representing Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami. Messi’s performance for Inter Miami has been simply spectacular. Inter Miami have been unbeaten since the Argentine made debut for the Herons earlier this year in July. Last month, Messi guided Inter Miami to their first trophy by winning the Leagues Cup title.