Cristiano Ronaldo gives the most mature and honest assessment of rivalry with Lionel Messi
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Cristiano Ronaldo has discussed his relationship with Lionel Messi, stating that the two "changed the history of football" and claiming that their rivalry is finished.
The pair, have dominated football for over 15 years now - accruing 79 trophies and 12 Ballon d'Ors between them and boasting an endless amount of records.
They have consistently raised one another's game with their incredible performances on the biggest stage.
The rivalry was at his peak when the duo were at Real Madrid and Barcelona, though Ronaldo seemed to keep it alive when he claimed the Saudi Pro League is better than the MLS which Messi is now playing in with Inter Miami.
However, in a recent press conference, the Al Nassr captain has said their feud is done and claimed fans don't have to like one and hate the other.
"I don't see things like that, the rivalry is gone," Ronaldo said.
"It was good, spectators liked it. Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don't have to hate Messi and vice versa. We've done well, we have changed the history of football. We are respected all over the world, that's the most important thing.
"He's followed his path and I have followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe.
"From what I've seen, he's been doing well and so have I. The legacy lives on, but I don't see the rivalry like that. We shared the stage many times, it was 15 years. I'm not saying we're friends, I've never had dinner with him, but we're professional colleagues and we respect each other."
They aren't exactly best pals but Ronaldo once invited Messi to dinner live at the Champions League draw in 2019 after he talked positively about the mutual respect they have for each other.
Messi met the Portuguese superstar's son, Cristiano Jr, at the 2017 Ballon d'Or ceremony and had a wholesome interaction.
Their last meeting on the pitch was a friendly between a Riyadh XI and PSG in Saudi Arabia, while they broke the internet in an incredible Louis Vuitton photoshoot back in November.
Ronaldo will captain Portugal against Slovakia in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday while Messi and world champions Argentina take on Ecuador in a 2026 World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
Argentina also play Bolivia on Tuesday, meaning Messi will miss Inter Miami's game against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.