‘It will remain forever’ – Messi speaks openly about ‘special duel’ with Ronaldo


The Argentine superstar reminisced over the famous battle with his Portuguese nemesis

Lionel Messi believes his ‘special’ La Liga duel with Cristiano Ronaldo will ‘remain forever’ in people’s minds despite his rival’s switch to the Serie A.

With Messi at the helm of Barcelona and Ronaldo spearheading Real Madrid from 2009 until 2018, the two attacking superstars dominated world football to win all but one of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards – with only Luka Modric managing to break the duopoly in 2018.

Messi feels the longevity and intensity of his rivalry with Ronaldo was a highlight and that fans will not forget the duel even though Ronaldo is plying his trade for Italian giants Juventus.

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“It was a special duel and it will remain forever, because it lasted many years and it is not easy to maintain certain levels for a long time, plus the teams we played in were also very demanding, both Real Madrid and Barça, the two best in the world,” Messi told La Liga on DAZN .

“Competing on an equal footing for so many years, I think it will remain forever. The sporting duel between us was very nice on a personal level and I think people had fun too, whether it was from Madrid or from Barça, or even only football fans in general.”

Despite a four-year drought, Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019 to go one ahead of Ronaldo – who has claimed the prestigious honour on five occasions.

During Ronaldo’s time in the Spanish capital, Messi scored 472 goals in 476 appearances across all competitions, while his Real Madrid foe hit 450 goals in 438 matches.

Messi remembered the times he took on Ronaldo fondly and said Barcelona’s El Clasico matches against Real Madrid were more important when the Portugal international was playing in them.

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“Obviously when Cristiano was at Real Madrid the matches were always special,” Messi said. 

“Against Real they are always particular matches for the meaning, but when Cristiano was there they became much more special. 

“But they are stages that have now passed, that we have experienced, but now look ahead and see what we have now.”

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