Cristiano: "I felt annoyed when Messi was winning things with Barça - it's normal"

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke in depth about raising the bar with Leo Messi: "What we both did in football didn’t happen just by chance. It was one of sport's great rivalries"

Cristiano Ronaldo has given an insight into his great rivalry with Leo Messi - one in which they were almost mutually egging each on on to raise the bar both in LaLiga and in European football. For 10 years, Cristiano and Messi broke record after record - sometimes taking records off each other. They remain the two top scorers in the Champions League - going into the 2018/19 edition of the tournament, Cristiano is on 126 goals and Messi on 112 - almost double the total of the next player on the list who remains active in the game, Karim Benzema who is on 60.

The Juventus ace spoke to Televisão Independente about a decade spent raising the bar with Leo Messi: “There’s no doubt he made me a better player and I did the same to him. What we both did in football didn’t happen just by chance. It’s similar to what happened in basketball with Michael Jordan – or in Formula 1 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost… there are so many great rivalries that are healthy, they’re good. I really admire everything he’s done in his career," Cristiano explained.

“I’m sure he felt a competitiveness that was the same as the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona. He liked that antagonism; he even admitted that those three Champions Leagues we won annoyed him a bit. It’s quite normal; I felt the same way when he won so many things with Barcelona – things I would have liked to have won. So it was always a healthy rivalry – the kind that exists in football and I have a great professional relationship with him”.