Cristiano Ronaldo says his long-running ‘rivalry’ with Lionel Messi is over

Luis Ernesto Quintana Barney

(CNN) – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? For more than a decade, the controversy has been relished by fans. While some expressed satisfaction with both players, others were firmly on one side of the debate or the other.

However, according to Ronaldo himself, since the European club changed to a new ranch, the “competition” between the two disappeared: Ronaldo moved to Al Nasser in Saudi Arabia, and Messi moved to Miami International in the United States.

“I don’t think so, the rivalry is over. Well, the fans like it. Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi. They are all very good, they changed the history of football.” The Portuguese team told reporters when they participated in the European Cup qualifiers.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi spent their primes in Spain with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona respectively, helping to increase the rivalry between players and fans.

Everyone Calls Him Crazy: Neymar praises Cristiano Ronaldo for starting Saudi Pro League rise

They both mastered the game while playing in Spain.

Messi ended his time at the Blaugrana with an impressive four Champions League titles, but Ronaldo left Spanish football after winning five Champions Leagues, including an unprecedented three with Real Madrid between 2016 and 2018. consecutive championships. Messi also added 10 La Liga titles to Ronaldo’s two.

In terms of individual honors, the two won 12 of the 13 Ballon d’Or awards awarded between 2008 and 2021: Ronaldo won 5 each and Messi won 7.

The pair also broke one scoring record after another during their stay in Spain. Messi ended his Barca career with a staggering 672 goals in 778 appearances, while Ronaldo scored a staggering 450 goals in 438 appearances for Real Madrid.

“We are respected all over the world, that’s the most important thing,” Ronaldo said. “He goes his way and I go my way. From what I’ve seen, he’s done a good job. We move on, the legacy goes on, the competition goes on, I don’t think so.”

He added: “I’ve said it, we’ve been on the same stage for 15 years, we’re over, I wouldn’t say friends, but we’re colleagues and we respect each other.”

Messi is now the star of Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami team. Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

“I am a pioneer”

Ronaldo has addressed criticism of the Saudi Professional League (SPL) as many players secure big-money transfers to football clubs in Saudi Arabia.

“Criticism is normal. Which league is not criticized? Where is there no problem or controversy?” asked.

Ronaldo has also been credited with growing the league and attracting other notable players to join him.

“I know, and I keep saying it, everyone thinks I’m crazy … crazy people aren’t so crazy anymore,” he said. “Playing in the Arab League has become normal.”

Ronaldo is now playing alongside a number of new signings in the Saudi Pro League.Ahmed Yosri/Reuters

Since Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia, Neymar, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Marcelo Brozovic are both big names moving to the SPL.

“As a Nasr player, I knew it was going to happen. It is an honor to change the culture of a country and football. It makes me proud to have a big name. I am a pioneer and I am proud of it,” Ronaldo emphasized .

“What I want is to keep growing forever and be world-class.”

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