Cristiano Ronaldo Throws and Misses Verbal Jab at Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo Throws and Misses Verbal Jab at Lionel MessiCristiano Ronaldo can't seem to get Lionel Messi off his mind. Messi is enjoying his summer vacation, but the under-fire Ronaldo aimed a dig his at his eternal rival during a Wednesday news conference, according to The Guardian.

During Portugal's 3-2 win over Denmark, Danish fans chanted "Messi" every time Ronaldo touched the ball. The Portugal captain squandered two clear scoring opportunities in the contest, and reporters asked if he was affected by the taunts or incessant comparisons to Messi.

"You know where he was at this time [last year]?" Ronaldo responded. "Do you know? He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that's worse, no?"

Like his other shots, Ronaldo's jibe at Messi was wide of the mark. Argentina was eliminated from the 2011 Copa America by eventual champion Uruguay in the quarterfinal stage. But that took place in mid-July, about a month later than Ronaldo's estimate. It's a mere technicality, but those few points could cost him the fight.

The 27-year-old powered Real Madrid to La Liga supremacy in the 2011-12 season, ending the three-year stranglehold Messi and FC Barcelona had on the Spanish top flight. But Messi won the scoring title both in Spain and Europe, scoring 73 goals in all competitions to Ronaldo's 60.

Many wonder exactly what else Ronaldo must do on the field in order to step out of Messi's gigantic shadow. Winning helps, but the answer can probably be found off the field. He can start by talking to the man in the mirror. If he changes his ways, maybe more people would prefer him to Messi. But he probably doesn't care about that.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer's Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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