Cristiano Ronaldo admitted on Wednesday his long – time rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him “ a better player ” and that he enjoys a “ healthy” rivalry with the Argentine great .
However , Portuguese star Ronaldo , whose influence at Real Madrid mirrored that of Messi at Barcelona before he left for Juventus , admitted that the pair have never socialised together.
“ I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated , ” Ronaldo told TVI in Portugal .
“ It’ s a good rivalry but it ’ s not unique — Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball , there were Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1 .
The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries . ”
Ronaldo and Messi have won the coveted Ballon d’ Or five times each , a factor that helps each player flourish .
“ I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice- versa .
When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it ’ s the same for me when he wins, ” he said .
“ I have an excellent professional relationship because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years.
He added : “ We’ ve never had dinner together but I don’ t see why we can ’ t in the future . I don’ t see a problem with that. ”
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