Cristiano Ronaldo on rivalry with Lionel Messi: "We have changed soccer history"
Baku, September 7, AZERTAC
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are no longer in the best leagues on the planet, but both are the main attraction in their respective teams in Saudi Arabia and MLS, according to Marca.
The Portuguese forward, speaking about his rivalry with the Argentine, has confirmed that they are not friends, they are simply professional colleagues.
Ronaldo, who is currently on duty with Portugal, spoke to the media in a press conference where he touched on how both superstars have chosen different paths after their careers in European football.
"He is making his way, as I am making mine. Regardless if we play outside Europe, he is doing things right, from what I have seen, and I am also doing things right. And the legacy continues. We shared the stage for 15 years. I'm not saying we are friends, but we are colleagues in the profession and we respect each other," Ronaldo said.
Leo Messi, who was just named as a finalist for the Ballon d'Or award, has always denied that there was a rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo expanded on the fans view of the pair by saying "Whoever likes Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't have to hate Messi. They are both very good, they have changed the history of soccer. We are respected all over the world, that's the most important thing," said the Portuguese striker, speaking of himself in the third person.
"The 850 goals are a historic achievement. It was a surprise for me, I never thought I would reach them. But I want more, I want to be at the top, to think big. I want to thank those who helped me, all the clubs where I played and the national team," said the player, who will not compete for the Ballon d'Or for the first time since 2003.
Both Ronaldo and Messi will see action with their national teams this weekend.
Argentina will begin their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification stage for CONMEBOL at home against Ecuador on Friday, September 8.
Portugal on the other hand, will continue their qualification process in UEFA when they face Slovakia on Saturday, September 9 in Bratislava.