Lionel Messi speaks openly about ‘special duel’ with Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi believes his ‘special’ La Liga duel with former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo will ‘remain forever’ in people’s minds despite his switch to the Serie A.

With Messi at the helm of Barca and Ronaldo spearheading Madrid from 2009 until 2018, the two attacking superstars dominated world football to win all but one of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards – with only Luka Modric able to break the duopoly in 2018.

Messi feels the longevity and intensity of his rivalry with the Portuguese was a highlight and that supporters will not forget the duel even though Ronaldo is plying his trade for Juventus.

“It was a special duel and it will remain forever, because it lasted many years and it is not easy to maintain certain levels for a long time, plus the teams we played in were also very demanding, both Real Madrid and Barça, the two best in the world,” Messi told La Liga on DAZN .

“Competing on an equal footing for so many years, I think it will remain forever. The sporting duel between us was very nice on a personal level and I think people had fun too, whether it was from Madrid or from Barça, or even only football fans in general.”

Despite a four-year drought, Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019 to go one ahead of Ronaldo – who has claimed the award on five occasions.

During Ronaldo’s time in the Spain, Messi scored 472 goals in 476 matches across all competitions, while his Madrid foe hit 450 goals in 438 appearances.

“Obviously when Cristiano was at Real Madrid the matches were always special,” Messi said. 

“Against Real they are always particular matches for the meaning, but when Cristiano was there they became much more special. 

“But they are stages that have now passed, that we have experienced, but now look ahead and see what we have now.”


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