superstar Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the competition between him and Lionel Messi is over and both have created history.
Ronaldo was chosen to attend the press conference on behalf of the Portuguese team to answer questions from the media on the evening of September 6, before the match against Slovakia in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. But the first question was about the competition between him and Messi. , when the 38-year-old striker said: “This competition was great and the audience enjoyed it too. But that’s over. If you like me, you don’t have to hate Messi, and vice versa. We’re both very good, has and will continue to change football history. The important thing is that we are respected by everyone around the world.”
Ronaldo (right) and Messi, while playing for Real Madrid and Barca in Spain in 2016. Photo: Reuters
The Al Nassr club striker also said that he and Messi are on different paths, but are no longer in Europe. “Messi is still playing well and so am I,” Ronaldo added. “We will continue to create a legacy, but I don’t think we can compete with each other anymore. Messi and I have shined together for the past 15 years, and we respect each other. Maybe we are not friends.” friends because we’ve never had dinner together, but consider each other as colleagues.”
Ronaldo once said he wanted to have dinner with Messi, during the UEFA Best Player award ceremony in Monaco on August 29, 2019. At FIFA’s The Best award that same year, the Portuguese superstar did not vote for Messi, although the Argentine captain voted for Ronaldo. After more than four years, the two players have still not been able to have dinner together.
Ronaldo has just set a record of 850 goals in his club and national team career, 32 goals more than Messi. He is proud to have reached the historic milestone, but is eager to improve. “I’m grateful to my teammates who helped me achieve this record, but I want more than that. 900 goals is a bigger milestone, but I can’t wait until I’m too thirsty to drink water,” he said.
Another issue of concern to the Portuguese media is the wave of criticism of Ronaldo and several other players when they went to Saudi Arabia to play football. However, he thinks the Saudi Pro League has overtaken the Portuguese championship. “Six months ago, I said that the Saudi League would become the top league in the world but then people thought I was crazy,” he added. “But now it seems I’m not crazy anymore. Adding stars to the Saudi League makes me feel proud, because I want the tournament to continue to grow and Saudi Arabian football to develop more and more.”
When asked about the possibility of attending the 2026 World Cup at the age of 41, Ronaldo only said that he wanted to enjoy every moment on the field. This year marks Ronaldo’s 20th year playing for the Portuguese team, and he feels he is still useful to the team, but will respect all decisions of coach Roberto Martinez.
Portugal will be a guest in the Slovakian capital Bratislava on the evening of September 8. Three days later, they returned home to Algarve to take on Luxembourg. Ronaldo believes that if he wins six points from these two matches, Portugal will qualify for Euro 2024.