He’s 100 percent right. No two men have meant more to the game of soccer than those two, and though they once engaged in a fierce rivalry, Ronaldo says that’s in the past.
“I don’t see things like that, the rivalry is gone,” Ronaldo stated. “It was good, spectators liked it.
“Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don’t have to hate Messi and vice versa. We’ve done well, we have changed the history of football. We are respected all over the world, that’s the most important thing.
“He’s followed his path and I have followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe. From what I’ve seen, he’s been doing well and so have I. The legacy lives on, but I don’t see the rivalry like that. 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.”
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Between the two, they have 79 trophies, with Messi having set the all-time record with his 44th when Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup last month. He also guided Argentina to its third World Cup victory in 2022.
“I knew [the transfer market explosion] was going to happen,” Ronaldo said. “I said it six months ago and everyone thought I was the crazy one. But, after all, the crazy guy is not that crazy, and it turns out to be normal to play in the Arab league.
“For me, it was 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 the pioneer, and I am proud of it. What I want most is to continue to always evolve, so that [the league] is top-notch.”
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