Cristiano Ronaldo has credited his ‘healthy rivalry’ with Barcelona star man Lionel Messi for making him the great footballer he is now.
Ronaldo, has for over a decade, battled it out with the Argentine as try to assert themselves as the undisputed best player in the world.
There has been nothing to separate the two though, with both players bagging five Ballon d’Ors each to date.
The Portuguese has now revealed that he would have struggled to hit the heights he has, had he not had one of sport’s greatest personal duels to spur him on.
‘I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice-versa,’ he told Portuguese channel TV1.
‘When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it’s the same for me when he wins.
‘I really admire the career he [Messi] 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.
‘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.’
The rivalry regardless, Ronaldo also revealed that the pair have an excellent working relationship, and insisted that he can see that blossoming when the pair finally hang up their boots.
‘I have an excellent professional relationship [with Messi] because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years,’ he said.
‘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.’