Cristiano Ronaldo has been speaking about his legendary rivalry with Lionel Messi and the Portuguese superstar was getting nostalgic as he reflected on their careers.
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Speaking while on duty with the Portugal national team, Ronaldo was asked about Messi starring at Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, while he is also scoring goals galore for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia as the duo continue to make headlines outside of Europe and in the twilight of their glittering careers.
Ronaldo, 38, showed huge respect to Messi, 36, just like the duo have always shared towards one another despite so many people across the world deciding that you have to choose one or the other to like.
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s answer also came with a lovely dose of him talking glowingly about himself in the third person. Never change, CR7.
“The rivalry is over,” Ronaldo said. “It was good, a healthy rivalry that spectators liked a lot. Whoever likes Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have to hate Messi or vice-versa because they’re both very good. They changed the history of football, and they keep on doing it.”
“We are respected throughout the world, that’s the most important thing. He makes his way, I make mine, even if we are playing outside Europe. He has done well, from what I’ve seen, and so have I. It’s about continuing. The legacy continues. The rivalry, I don’t see things like that. I’ve already said, we’ve shared the stage for 15 years and we ended up being, I wouldn’t say friends, because I never dined with him, but we are professional colleagues and we respect each other.”
The debate will always rumble on
Even though Ronaldo and Messi aren’t about it, the debate about who is the true GOAT will rumble on. Forever.
Why? It is because for so long during their career the duo have been chalk and cheese.
Messi is the cerebral talent who embodied Barcelona. Ronaldo the mechanical wonder who epitomized Real Madrid. They play in totally different ways and both have dominated doing it their way.
There is so much to love about both Messi and Ronaldo when it comes to their play on the pitch and you can love both of them and their style of play at the same time. You don’t need to choose.
But most people will. Most people will choose one or the other as the GOAT. But you don’t have to. That, in a nutshell, is what Cristiano Ronaldo is trying to say.
The fact that both of these players have coexisted and dominated at the same time is what has made this rivalry so enthralling. Pele and Diego Maradona didn’t overlap but the fact that the two other players in the GOAT conversation have, and still are, is why we are drawn to compare and contrast.
This is like having Tom Brady and Joe Montana playing in the same era and trying to pick a favorite. People will, but you don’t have to. Just sit back and keep enjoying the ride even though Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are now playing on opposite sides of the globe as they close out their incredible careers.