Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel MessiCristiano Ronaldo is mad about Lionel Messi, but he’s not angry at his greatest rival.

Ronaldo has denied claims that he uses an obscene nickname for Messi. In his book “Messi”, author and pundit Guillem Balague says Ronaldo often refers to the Argentine as “motherf—-r” when he’s around his Real Madrid teammates, according to the Telegraph.

Ronaldo refuted Balague’s story Tuesday in a Facebook post.

Ronaldo, 29, and Messi, 27, are widely regarded as the world’s best soccer players. Either Ronaldo or Messi has won FIFA’s Ballon d’Or Award (or its predecessor, the FIFA World Player of the Year Award) every year since 2008 — Messi has four to his name, while Ronaldo has two. They challenge each other for goal scoring records every year, while their teams, rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, compete annually for the same major trophies.

Ronaldo has previously claimed that he is tired of the comparisons between Messi and him, but the world persists in asking the eternal question: “Who is better, Ronaldo or Messi?”

While Ronaldo isn’t trying to end the debate publicly, he is taking steps to ensure the (non)rivalry doesn’t spill into the realms of crassness and bad taste.

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