Manchester United number seven Cristiano Ronaldo has declared his admiration for long-time rival Lionel Messi.
In the second part of his bombshell interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, Ronaldo rendered his verdict on the PSG star.
Ronaldo and Messi are fondly regarded as the two best players to have ever played the game, with their careers peaking when the pair featured for Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain respectively.
The 37-year-old was quizzed on his rivalry with Messi by Morgan. He says, “He’s [Messi] a guy that I really respect the way he always speak about me.”
Even his wife or my wife, my girlfriend, they always respect and they’re from Argentina. My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good.”
“Amazing player is magic, top… As a person, we share the stage 16 years, imagine, 16 years. So, I have a great relationship with him.”
The five-time Ballon D’or winner surprisingly said that while he is not friends with the Argentine, he views him as a teammate.
The United goalscorer added that Messi and Argentina are one of the favourites to win the World Cup, even ahead of Portugal.
On whether he would like to meet with Messi, Ronaldo said that he was extremely open to sitting down and having a chat with the Barca legend.
He even reiterated that he will definitely have dinner at some point with Messi, to forge a friendship similar to the rapport that existed between Diego Maradona and Pele.
It’s impressive that in his bashing of the Red Devils Ronaldo found time to heap praise on Messi.
Nevertheless, a fitting tribute from one immortal of the sport to another!