Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo says it is a “great privilege” to play against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and he never considered their relationship as a rivalry.
The two players, considered two of the best players of all time, played against each other once again on Tuesday in Juventus’ 3-0 victory at Barcelona in the Champions League.
The former United player stole the limelight as his brace from the penalty spot helped the Serie A side overcome the 2-0 defeat they suffered to the Catalans in October and claim the top spot in their group due to a superior head-to-head record.
“Leo and me shared the last twelve, thirteen or fourteen years of our lives,” Ronaldo told Movistar after the game on Tuesday.
“I’ve always had a cordial relationship with him, I never saw him as a rival. It’s the press that creates the rivalry. If you ask Leo, he’ll tell you the same thing.
“I faced him while with Manchester United, with Real Madrid and now with Juventus. As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy about my goals and for me, managing to score is always the source of greater joys.
“Maybe it’s even better when I play against the team which he is playing in.”
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Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann was critical of his team’s performance, he said: “We didn’t turn up. “They turned us over in the first half. We were lacking in every department: attitude, desire to run, to defend … everything was bad.
“Who’s to blame if not those of us who are out there playing? We know how to run, how to work hard, and that’s what we must do to move forward.
“I don’t want to look for excuses. We have to leave that to one side and work hard, there’s nothing else for it. There’s a game on Sunday [against Levante], and we have to win it. The image [of the team] tonight was ugly.”