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17th Jul 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo says he doesn’t consider Lionel Messi a rival

Ronaldo spoke frankly about his relationship with Messi in his first Juventus press conference

Reuben Pinder

The two greatest players of a generation

There are a multitude of reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are constantly compared with one another. Not only have they been head and shoulders above everyone else in the world for a decade, they played for rival teams in the same league for nine years.

Their differing styles of play contribute to the debate too. One’s preference is an indication of the type of football they like to watch.

But contrary to the popular narrative, the two players get on well. They disagree over who is the greatest player of all time, obviously, but they are not enemies by any stretch.

Ronaldo explained as much at his first press conference as a Juventus player yesterday.

“I don’t have rivalries aganst players,” he said. “That’s not part of my ethics.”

“It was a good challenge against Messi, you all enjoyed it and it was interesting. But I never thought of it as a rivalry,” Ronaldo said.

Ronaldo will not have the golden boot race against Messi to spur him on, but he does not rely on others to drive him forward as much as he maybe used to. One of the most driven and motivated players to ever play the game, Ronaldo will be determined to leave his mark on Calcio during his time at Juventus.

He joins from Madrid at the age of 33, but with years left in the tank. Joining the best team in the league too, he will have plenty of chances to score when the likes of Miralem Pjanić and Paulo Dybala are setting him up.

Madrid, meanwhile, are hoping to sign Eden Hazard as Ronaldo’s replacement. The 27-year-old has strongly hinted at his desire to leave Chelsea this summer for a move to the Spanish capital, all that remains is for Madrid to cough up the money.