Lionel Messi is setting the record straight about Cristiano Ronaldo.
The FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar hailed his Real Madrid and Portugal counterpart Thursday, describing Ronaldo to China’s Tencent as an enduring soccer sensation, according to The Telegraph.
“He is a phenomenal player who has many qualities that year after year he improves and that is why he is one of the best in the world,” Messi said.
He also clarified the nature of their storied rivalry. Rather than representing bitter enemies, Messi and Ronaldo drive each other to higher peaks.
“That thing about our rivalry is something more invented by the press than by us,” he said. “What we want is to do our best every year, to do the best for our teams and what is spoken from outside is not something I give importance to.”
Messi spoke to Tencent just days after Ronaldo led Real Madrid to victory over Juventus in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final. Messi’s kind words likely will ring into the summer
But once next season begins in August, all friendly feelings the two share will be put to one side, as their eternal game of “can you top this?” resumes.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/AshStudio7