| Last updated
Lionel Messi has admitted that his legendary rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo was 'special' and 'fun' when the duo were both in Spain.
The duo faced off for club and personal honours while representing La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
While the duo are known to be incredibly competitive, Barca captain Messi has admitted he enjoyed the duels with Ronaldo on a personal level.
Speaking to DAZN per Goal, Messi admitted: "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 Barcelona were the two best teams in the world."
Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 for a then world record £80 million fee.
He spent nine years in the Spanish capital winning four Champions League's and two La Liga titles before leaving for Juventus in 2018.
Messi, in that time, recorded an unprecedented seven La Liga titles as well as two Champions Leagues of his own.
The 32-year-old added: "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 Barca, or even only football fans in general."
The pair also faced off for individual accolades on numerous occasions.
Messi scored 472 times in all competitions for Barcelona between 2009 and 2018, while Ronaldo registered 450 goals for Madrid in that time.
In terms of Ballon d'Or victories, Messi has recorded six wins, one more than Ronaldo who has five.
His most recent win came in December, which moved him ahead of Ronaldo in the all-time rankings.
It was a relief for the diminutive forward who admitted it hurt to see Ronaldo catch up to his record.
He told France Football: "On the one hand, I appreciated having five and being the only one to do so.
"When Cristiano levelled me, I have to admit that it hurt me a bit. I was no longer alone at the summit."
Who do you think is the better player, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Sound off in the comments below.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read