Cristiano Ronaldo: "I never saw Messi as a rival"
Cristiano Ronaldo discussed his relationship with Lionel Messi after Juventus' Champions League win over Barcelona at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he never saw Lionel Messi as a rival after Juventus brushed past Barcelona in the Champions League.
Ronaldo converted two penalties and Weston McKennie also scored at Camp Nou, where Juve claimed a 3-0 win and top spot in Group G on Tuesday.
Messi had a game-high 11 shots, including seven on target, but Barca fell as he faced Ronaldo – who starred during nine seasons in LaLiga with Real Madrid – once more.
Ronaldo, who shared a brief embrace with Messi before the clash, said there was no rivalry between the two all-time greats.
"I have always had a very cordial relationship with him," the Juve star told Movistar+.
"I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him. I never saw him as a rival.
"He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him.
"But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always."
Always great to return to Spain and to Catalunya, always hard to play in Camp Nou against one of the best teams I ever faced. Today we were a team of Champions! A true, strong and united family! Playing like this, we have nothing to fear until the end of the season... Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/PivPpJ3SLh— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 8, 2020
Since 2003-04, Messi's seven shots on target were the most a player has had in a single Champions League match without scoring. His 11 in total was also the most in a game without scoring in the competition.
Ronaldo record versus Barcelona
But Ronaldo scored his first goals against Barca in the Champions League (in his sixth appearance) and 133rd and 134th goals in the competition.
"Barcelona are going through a difficult time, but it is still Barcelona," Ronaldo said.
"The truth is that we are very happy, we knew it was an almost impossible mission, it was a complicated mission and we played well.
"The key was to get into the game well, we scored two early and from there we believed it was possible."
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