Messi made me a better player, says Ronaldo

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 23 Aug 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo admits his longtime rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him "a better player" and that he enjoys a "healthy" competition with the Argentine football great.

However, Ronaldo, whose influence at Real Madrid mirrored that of Messi at Barcelona before he left for Juventus, admitted that the pair have never socialized together.

"I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated," the Portuguese star said.

"It's a good rivalry but it's not unique - Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries."

Ronaldo and Messi have won the coveted Ballon d'Or for world player of the year five times each, a factor that helps each player flourish.

"I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice versa. When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it's the same for me when he wins," he said.

"We have been sharing the same moments for 15 years.

"We've never had dinner together but I don't see why we can't in the future. I don't see a problem with that."

?Neymar remains no closer to getting his desired move away from Paris Saint-Germain amid reports the French club have rejected an offer from Real Madrid of 100 million euros (HK$867.68 million) plus players.

French sports daily L'Equipe said Real had offered cash plus Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Barcelona's bid to sign the Brazilian on loan with an obligation to buy for 160 million euros at the end of the season has also been rejected.

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