Cristiano Ronaldo hails Lionel Messi when asked as “greatest opponent”

Cristiano Ronaldo has been regarded as one of the best players in the history of football for a large portion of the last two decades.

During that time, Ronaldo has played for some of the most storied clubs in Europe. The 37-year-old originally achieved international success at Manchester United, then played for Real Madrid for nine seasons before transferring to Juventus.

Why did Cristiano Ronaldo laud Messi over others?

The Portuguese superstar exchanged Turin for a return to Old Trafford last season and this week, when United plays Arsenal in the Premier League, he will make his second Red Devils appearance since Brentford.

Ronaldo has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize at least five times over the course of his successful career and it is a remarkable accomplishment—more than any other player in history, with the exception of Lionel Messi.

CR7 and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi squared up frequently in El Clasico, the most important matchup on the Spanish football calendar, between 2009 and 2018. Both Messi and Ronaldo proudly wore the colors of their respective teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

The two frequently faced off in games that were competitive for bragging rights and the domestic championship.

Despite how heatedly they competed on the field (and in the Ballon d’Or voting ballot), Ronaldo has a lot of respect for his Argentine competitor.

In fact, outspoken media figure Piers Morgan revealed how highly the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer has talked of Messi to him in the past in his most recent piece for the Mail on Sunday.

Prior to Ronaldo’s return to the Premier League, Morgan asked the star to name the best opponent he had ever faced during dinner in Turin.

He immediately and loudly responded, “Messi,” Morgan remembered. Morgan was surprised by how quickly he responded and asked Ronaldo to confirm it.


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