Published On: Wed, Jan 15th, 2020

Lionel Messi: Barcelona star gives Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid verdict on rivalry | Football | Sport

Lionel Messi has praised Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, admitting that matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid are no longer the same without him. The duo’s rivalry has enchanted the footballing world for over a decade, with the pair continuing to scale new heights.

And Messi has praised Ronaldo, telling DAZN: “It was a special duel and it will remain [in people’s minds] forever, because it lasted for many years and it is not easy to maintain such levels for a long time.

“Plus, the teams we played in were also very demanding, both Real Madrid and Barca, the two best teams in the world.

“Competing on an equal footing for so many years, I think it will remain [in people’s minds] forever.

“The sporting duel between us was very nice on a personal level and I think people had fun too, whether they were fans of Madrid or Barca, or even only football fans in general.”

On Real Madrid, he added: “Obviously, when Cristiano was at Real Madrid, the matches were always special.

Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid in 2018 to join Juventus, recently gave his own take on the battle he faces with Messi.

“A lot of people said that we fed each other, that being together in Spain made us better,” Ronaldo said.

“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.”

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