“I relished winning cups while he was at Madrid” – Lionel Messi’s bold revelation on his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo

“I relished winning cups while he was at Madrid” – Lionel Messi’s bold revelation on his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi made an interesting admission about his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo back in March 2019. The Argentine icon confessed that he enjoyed winning trophies at the peak of their rivalry when the Portuguese was plying his trade at Real Madrid.

The football world witnessed one of the most iconic rivalries in history when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo competed against each other week-in and week-out in Spain between 2009 and 2018.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner had a slight edge during that period, bagging 472 goals and 177 assists in 476 games for Barcelona in all competitions, with his rival bagging 450 goals and 120 assists for Real Madrid in 438 outings.

The Argentine also had the upper hand when it came to the number of trophies won during that era. He guided the Blaugrana to an impressive 24 trophies while his Portuguese rival claimed 16 trophies with Los Blancos, as per Transfermarkt.

Speaking on Radio 94.7 Club Octubre (h/t Marcos Duran of AS) ahead of the Champions League quarterfinals back in March 2019, Lionel Messi confessed that he enjoyed winning trophies when Cristiano Ronaldo was at Real Madrid.

“It was nice playing against Cristiano even if it was difficult. I enjoyed winning cups when he was at Madrid. It would be nice if he were still there,” the then Barcelona maestro stated.

The Argentine, however, showed respect for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, placing him alongside himself at the top of the game when asked to name the players he rated as the standout footballers at the time.

“Today, there are very good players, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard, any of them could be the best in the world,” he said. “But I took Cristiano of that group and put him with me,” he stated.

The iconic rivalry in Spain ended when Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Juventus in the summer of 2018. He would later return to Manchester United before settling down at Al-Nassr where he currently plies his trade. Messi, meanwhile, left Barcelona for PSG in the summer of 2021 before leaving for Inter Miami last year.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s stats so far this season

The new MLS season is still in the opening stages but Lionel Messi has quickly made his impact felt. The 36-year-old already has seven goals and four assists to his name in eight appearances for Inter Miami across all competitions so far this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, has been equally brilliant with Al Nassr. The former Manchester United winger has so far recorded 36 goals and 12 assists for the Saudi Arabian giants across all fronts.

Unfortunately, the attacker is currently serving a two-match ban in the Saudi Pro League after elbowing an opposition player last time out. Messi, meanwhile, is expected to be in action when Inter Miami lock horns with Nashville in the MLS this Sunday (April 21).


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