Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has admitted that his legendary rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo was very special and will never be forgotten. Ronaldo left Real Madrid as the club's all-time top scorer (450 goals) after nine seasons to join Juventus in 2018 and the two have not faced each other since. Messi and Ronaldo have been widely considered as two of the best ever players in football and have shared 11 Ballon d'Ors amongst them (Ronaldo 5, Messi 6).
• Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo - Who is the GOAT?— Altin Ademaj (@altinademaj_) January 8, 2020
• In this thread we will compare Messi and Cristiano's best attributes,achievements,records,statistics and then you can conclude which one is the better player. pic.twitter.com/zxHJ0oJ39P
Speaking to DAZN Italy, Lionel Messi expressed his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo. He admitted that he enjoyed the duels with Ronaldo on a personal level. Messi further added that Real Madrid and Barcelona are two of the best teams in the world. Both the teams were very demanding and naturally got the best out of the duo.
Since his move to the Spanish capital in 2009, Ronaldo won 4 Champions League titles and 2 LaLiga titles before leaving for Juventus in 2018. Lionel Messi, in that time, won 7 La Liga titles as well as 2 Champions League titles. Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 matches for Real Madrid. In that same period, Messi scored 472 goals in 476 appearances across all competitions.
Lionel Messi added that the longevity of the rivalry between them makes it very special. According to Messi, the El Clasico remains an important game to him. However, with Ronaldo at Los Blancos, El Clasico had much more at stake.
"Competing on an equal footing for so many years, I think it will remain forever" - Lionel Messi on his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi continues to star with Barcelona this season. The 32-year-old has scored 16 times in 20 games in all competitions for the Catalan club. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has also scored 16 times this season with Juventus.