Antonio Cassano reveals Cristiano Ronaldo ordered him to 'respect' his achievements
'I don't like him, there are 50 players I like more than he, so what?'
Antonio Cassano has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo sent him a text message telling him to 'respect' his achievements after he was critical of the Manchester United forward.
The former Italy frontman has been critical of Ronaldo in the past and insisted that long-time rival Lionel Messi is a better player than the Portuguese captain after the Paris Saint-Germain forward beat him to the Ballon d'Or award on Monday.
According to Football Italia, Cassano revealed that Ronaldo had allegedly got hold of his phone number from ex-Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and complained that his comments lacked respect.
Cassano didn't appear to back down, later adding that there were '50 players' he likes more than the former Real Madrid star.
He told Bobo TV: "The other day I saw a text from a Spanish number. Four long texts. Let's see if he (Ronaldo) confirms it because I also forwarded them to Gigi (Buffon), who told me he had given my number to Cristiano.
"He (Ronaldo) told me I had to respect him, I had to respect the goals he had scored, what he had won and what he represents. I fear nobody and I replied, writing I had just said the truth: there is only one Ronaldo (Brazilian) and Messi is better than him.
CR7 ain’t a fan of Cassano either 😂
A little back story: Cassano constantly takes digs at Ronaldo saying ‘there’s only one Ronaldo, Il Fenomeno’ and didn't put Cristiano in his top 5 players of all time. pic.twitter.com/btPXcmhOAZ
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) December 4, 2021
"He continued saying that he has money. He scored more many goals in his career, while I had only scored 150. Cristiano has everything in life. He should take it easy and be relaxed rather than see what people say about him. He should be like Messi and be more relaxed.
"This is the truth, I called Buffon and told him too, I told Giorgio Chiellini as well. I've never disrespected him, as a man or as a footballer. I don't like him, there are 50 players I like more than he, so what?"
Earlier this week, Messi won a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or, which takes him further ahead of Ronaldo, who has won the prestigious award five times.
The 36-year-old finished in sixth place, but was not in attendance to witness the Argentine lift the trophy in Paris.
Despite Ronaldo arguably (considering who you credit) boasting the most goals in the history of the game, former Real Madrid, AC and Inter Milan star Cassano has never been shy to speak out against the Portugal international.
Last month, he insisted that the forward was not even in the top five players in history - behind Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and (Brazilian) Ronaldo.
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