Cristiano Ronaldo, 38, shakes his head at comparisons to Lionel Messi, 36. Hailed as the best player of the 2000s, he’s always battled Messi for the top spot. But now, at the age of 40, he knows it’s meaningless. The so-called “Messi Wars” are over, he says.
“If you love Cristiano, you don’t have to hate Messi,” Ronaldo said in a press conference ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday (ET). “We both changed the history of football, we are both respected. Our rivalry is over. We are both playing well (in the Saudi Arabian Professional League and Major League Soccer).” 스포츠토토
You can get tired of the comparisons after a decade. When you’re the best player in the world, the expectations are high, and the debate over the number one spot is inevitable. Ronaldo seems to be resigned to that. As competitive as he is, he’s determined to stay on his own path rather than compete with Messi.
“He’s making his way, I’m making mine,” Ronaldo said, adding that “me and Messi are doing the right thing, regardless of whether we play outside of Europe.” “The legacy (of me and Messi) continues. We’ve been playing together for 15 years,” he said, adding, “I’m not saying me and Messi are friends. We are soccer colleagues and we respect each other,” he added.
Still wearing the Portugal shirt, he has his sights set on the Euro 2024 qualifiers. They’ll be in goal hunt away to Slovakia on Sept. 9 and at home to Luxembourg on Sept. 12. Portugal have stabilized after their failure at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They have kept clean sheets in all four of their Euro 2024 qualifiers. They have scored 14 goals and kept four clean sheets. Ronaldo has scored five goals to lead the way for Portugal.