The Juventus forward talked to France Football (h/t Marca) about his rivalry with Messi during his nine years in Spain with Real Madrid. “A lot of people said that we fed each other, that being together in Spain made us better. That’s certainly true, I felt his presence more in Madrid than in Manchester. It was a healthy rivalry. We were the symbols of our clubs. I think he said recently that he missed me on a competitive level.” The rivalry between the two players has dominated European football over the last decade. Ronaldo moved to Madrid from Manchester United in 2009, winning both La Liga and the Copa del Rey twice as well as claiming four UEFA Champions League titles with Los Blancos. Ronaldo also won four of his five Ballon d’Or titles during his time in Spain to move level with Messi:OptaJose✔@OptaJose. 5 – @Cristiano has won 3 of the last 4 Ballon d’Or to equal Lionel Messi (5 each) as the player with the most editions won ever. Leyend
Meanwhile, the Barcelona star has helped the Catalan giants dominate La Liga. Messi has won 10 La Liga titles with Barca, lifted the European Cup four times and became the club’s most decorated player in 2018:FC Barcelona (from )✔@FCBarcelona
Both players have been prolific goalscorers and inspirational figures for their teams throughout their careers, and seem to have pushed each other to new levels of greatness.
Opta noted how Messi just edged Ronaldo for goals scored during the Portugal international’s time in Spain:OptaJose✔@OptaJose
2 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored 450 goals in his Real Madrid career – Lionel Messi scored 472 goals during the time they played together in Spain. Age.
Ronaldo left Real Madrid as the club’s all-time goalscorer and joined Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2018 in a deal worth €100 million.
Messi told Fox Sports (h/t Phil Haigh at Metro) that he missed Ronaldo and their rivalry because “it was good for us both, we always wanted to improve ourselves.”
Both players have continued to enjoy success after Ronaldo’s move and picked up league titles with their clubs last season. The duo are also on the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or and will be hoping to pick up a record-breaking sixth title.