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14th Sep 2021

‘Riled’ Ronaldo sent Rio Ferdinand Whatsapp during on-air Mbappe-Haaland debate

Daniel Brown

“It’s not over”

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo sent him a text message whilst he was on air discussing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, insinuating that his rivalry with Lionel Messi was ‘not over’.

Prior to the start of last season’s Champions League knockout stages, BT Sport aired a programme that was dedicated to the rise of Mbappe and Haaland – looking ahead to the coming years where the pair are expected to become the next ‘Messi and Ronaldo’ and battle it out to be considered the sports’ number one star.

Even though Ronaldo, or even Messi for that matter, was not the main focus of the programme, it clearly annoyed the Portuguese captain, leading him to send Ferdinand a cryptic text message.

Since the feature was aired, two of the biggest and shocking transfers in the history of the game have happened.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, they involved Ronaldo and Messi, rather Mbappe and Haaland.

After revealing that he wanted to leave Juventus in the summer, Ronaldo looked destined to join Manchester City in a transfer that would’ve gone down as one of the most controversial moves in the history of the game. However, in an equally surprising turn of events, the record international goalscorer ended up rejoining Manchester United on a two-year deal. 

According to the Athletic, the fee United offered was €15 million plus €8 million in add-ons for Ronaldo after City pulled out from negotiations, and the Red Devils swiftly wrapped up a deal with Juve for the Portuguese legend.

Earlier in the window, after it emerged that Barcelona were unable to sign Argentinian forward Messi on a new deal because of La Liga and Financial Fair Play rules, PSG became the frontrunners to sign him.

Messi soon agreed a deal with Paris Saint-Germain and in turn, linked up once more with former teammate Neymar, and French wonderkid Mbappe.

After the 34-year-old said his goodbyes to the Catalan club in an emotional press conference, things moved very quickly with the Parisians wasting no time in swooping in to sign him up and according to transfer news extraordinaire Fabrizio Romano, Messi signed a two-year-deal with his salary expected to be a ludicrous €35 million per season.

A summer that saw arguably the two greatest ever footballers move clubs is undoubtedly one for the history books.

However, it also appears to be another step forward in the famous duel between the two players and as equally important, provides them with a fresh opportunity to continue to demonstrate that they are far from ready to hand over the reigns to Mbappe and Haaland.