Never saw Lionel Messi as a rival: Cristiano Ronaldo says he has warm relationship with Barcelona star

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the spot and was at his vintage best as he helped Juventus seal the Group H top spot in the ongoing Champions League campaign. Lionel Messi managed to trouble Gianluigi Buffon but it seemed as if he was leading a disjointed attack without much success in a difficult 0-3 defeat at Camp Nou.

Speaking to Movistar after the big-ticket clash, Ronaldo flaunted his equation with Messi, pointing out that they have been good friends off the field despite what the hype around the rivalry between the two greats over the years. It was their 36th meeting in a competitive fixture on Tuesday but it turned out to be a one-sided affair.

“I never saw him (Messi) as a rival. He always tried the best for his team and I tried the best for mine. I always got on well with him. I am sure he will say the same if you ask him. I have always had a cordial relationship with him,” Ronaldo said.

“As I have said before, for 12, 13, 14 years [I have been] sharing prizes with him. But we know in football people always look for a rivalry to create more excitement.

Over the last 12 years, Ronaldo and Messi have shared between them the Ballon d’Or 11 times and swept away several football honours, leaving very little for the rest. Their on-field rivalry was at its peak when the two came up against each other in those blockbuster Clasico fixtures.

Messi is the same as ever: Ronaldo

Things are changing for both the greats as Lionel Messi is likely to leave Barcelona in the summer window as his relationship with the management is not getting better. Under new manager Ronaldo Koeman, Barcelona have struggled to get going, managing only 4 wins in 10 matches as the Catalans are reeling at the 9th spot.

Messi has not been as prolific as before but Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the Barcelona superstar will hit form soon.

“Messi is the same as ever. Barcelona are in a difficult moment, but they are still Barca. I am sure they will come out of it. All teams have bad runs, but Barcelona are a very good team,” Ronaldo said.

For Juventus fans, it’s a reason to cheer as their superstar forward has found form in a big-ticket clash. Juventus have also had a slow start to their Serie A campaign as the holders are at the 4th spot with 5 wins and as many draws in 10 league games.

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