Cristiano Ronaldo says his rivalry with Lionel Messi is “gone” as both have already “changed the history of football.”
The pair dominated the sport for more than a decade, winning a combined 79 trophies and scoring more than 800 goals as just two players.
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“I don’t see anything like that, the rivalry is gone,” Ronaldo said. It was good, the audience loved it.
“People who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi and vice versa. We did well, we changed the history of football. We are respected all over the world, that’s the most important thing.
He followed his path and I followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe. From what I’ve seen he’s doing well and so am I. The legacy lives on, but I don’t see that rivalry. We shared the stage many times, it was 15 years I’m not saying we’re friends, I’ve never had dinner with him, but we’re professional colleagues and we respect each other.”
World Cup winner Messi joined Inter Miami CF as a free agent in June after two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain.
Argentina captain Messi became the most decorated soccer player when he won his 44th trophy as he helped Inter Miami win the 2023 League Cup.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo won his first title with Saudi Pro-League side Al-Nasr, the club he joined from Manchester United in January, while he lifted the Arab Club Champions Cup last month.
The Portugal captain became the only player to reach 850 goals in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Al Hazem.
“It’s a historic landmark,” Ronaldo, 38, said. It was a source of pride for me to achieve numbers that I never thought I could reach.
“But I want more. When playing games, the bar has to be high, thinking big.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is proud to be a mentor for other star players to join the Saudi Pro League.
Earlier in the summer, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante joined Saudi Pro League defending champions Al Ittihad, Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy signed for Al Ahly and former Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly joined rivals Al Hilal.
Moreover, Marcelo Brozovic has moved to Ronaldo’s Al Nasr, Roberto Firmino has left Liverpool to complete a free transfer to Al Ahli and Brazil star Neymar has signed for Al Hilal following a €90m transfer from PSG.
“I knew it [transfer market] It’s going to happen, I said it six months ago and everyone thought I was the madman,” Ronaldo said. “But, after all, the madman is not that mad, and playing in an Arab country is normal. League
For me, it is a great privilege to change the culture of a country in terms of football and to have great stars go to Saudi Arabia.
“I was a pioneer, and I’m proud of it. What I want most is to always continue to develop, so that [the league] top.”