Legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to his long-time rival, Lionel Messi, forward of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Whereas talking in an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, Ronaldo revealed that he has a particular relationship with the Argentine star.
“He is an amazing player. Magic. Top. As a person, we share the stage 16 years. Imagine 16 years. So, I have great relationship with him. I’m not a friend of him, in terms of what I mean as a friend who was with you in your house or speaking on the phone,” stated Ronaldo.
“No, however it’s like a teammate. He is a man that I actually respect the best way he at all times speaks about me. Even his spouse or my spouse, my girlfriend, they at all times have respect and so they’re from Argentina.
“My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good. What I am going to say about Messi? A great guy who does great things for football.”
“Probably the best player I’ve ever seen [excluding myself]. Maybe Zidane. That I play and fight with, yes.”
‘Provoked’In the identical interview, Ronaldo additionally claimed he was “provoked” by a scarcity of respect from Manchester United supervisor Erik ten Hag when refusing to return on as an alternative in opposition to Tottenham final month.
Ronaldo has been a peripheral determine on the sphere throughout Ten Hag’s first season in cost.
The striker responded to criticism after he refused to return on and left Previous Trafford early throughout United’s 2-Zero win on October 19.
“I think he did it on purpose,” stated Ronaldo. “I felt provoked. I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me.”
The membership responded by suspending the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for the Pink Devils’ subsequent match in opposition to Chelsea.
“I think it was a strategy from the club for me to react that way,” he added. “I used to be very, very, very, very dissatisfied with the communication of Manchester United.
“To be honest, I never had a problem with any club, with any coach and they suspend me three days, which I felt was a lot.”
In an announcement on Monday, United stated they may contemplate the membership’s response to the interview as soon as the complete details are established.
The 37-year-old was reportedly eager to depart the membership even earlier than the marketing campaign started after United didn’t qualify for the Champions League.