Lionel Messi admits Cristiano Ronaldo is influential in football.
Throughout the modern generation of football, people are familiar with two names, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They have influenced the sport so much that people who have never even watched football, know about their talents. Thus it is not hard to imagine that the two share a very fierce rivalry and each year they try to best the other.
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This has been a common subject now but the Messi vs Ronaldo debate never fails to bring in a lot of opinions and a lot of disagreements. Recently, the Portuguese was awarded the player of century title by Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. This has once again sparked the age-old debate as to who is the better player overall.
Their personal rivalry goes to another level. They have dominated the Ballon d’Ors and are currently racing each other to get the most amounts of that award as well. The two are neck and neck at the moment with Messi earning one Ballon d’Or more than Ronaldo. Thus it is not hard to imagine that the two would share a very good relationship as it is very common in sports for rivals to be good friends.
The 33-year-old in his latest interview with Spanish media house, La Sexta, once again showed his appreciation towards his rival. The Argentine heaped praises on Ronaldo and claimed that he was an icon for the footballing world. Messi compared Ronaldo to the likes of Michael Jordan and Rafael Nadal. In the interview when questioned about the legendary rivalry he said,
“There are many admirable athletes. Rafa Nadal, Federer, LeBron – in all sports there is always someone who stands out and is admirable for his work, Cristiano stands out in football. There are many who stand out and always do their best.”
These are strong words coming from a player who usually tends to reveal very little of his emotional side. The rivalry with Ronaldo however, has changed them both and has pushed both of them to their limits. Both of them have the winning mentality and the hunger to win thus it is very heartwarming to see that even such great enemies on the pitch can respect each other in their personal lives.
Both players are slowly moving towards the inevitable end to their illustrious careers and we as fans of football should enjoy every second left of it