Cristiano: “Messi made me a better player and I did the same to him”

Cristiano: “Messi made me a better player and I did the same to him”

TVI has broadcast the second part of an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo in which he spoke at length about Barcelona’s Leo Messi: “We get on really well”.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened up about his relationship and rivalry with Leo Messi in the second part of an interview broadcast by Portuguese television channel, TVI. The Portuguese forward says he enjoys an excellent relationship with Messi and believes that their long-standing rivalry was mutually beneficial. He also had a few words of advice for João Félix on how to succeed in LaLiga.

Relationship with Messi: “There’s no doubt at all that he made me a better player and I did the same to him. Rivalries are good, they’re healthy – in football or in any other sport. I have the greatest admiration for the career Leo has carved out and he has opnly said that he was sorry to see me leave the Spanish league. That’s because we had a rivalry that he enjoyed. It’s perfectly normal – the healthy rivalry that exists in football. Professionally we get on really well”.

Have you ever had dinner with Messi?: “No, but maybe in the future, why not? I’d have no problem with that – he’s Argentinean and so is my wife”.

Committed to Portugal
The future with the national team: “I’m not closing any doors. While I have the strength and motivation I’ll always be available for Portugal. I’ll only quit the national team when they don’t want me anymore (laughs). World Cup Qatar? I’m not ruling it out. I think I could still be around for that”.

Best times with Portugal: “I’ve enjoyed so many great times with the national team. Maybe the last five years have been the ones I’ve enjoyed the most. Don’t ask me why, but I really love playing for my country”.

Will you retire from playing back home in Portugal? “I occasionally go back to Portugal, especially to Lisbon and Madeira. It’s a country where I’d like to live and I’m sure me and my family will be living in Portugal in a few years’ time”.

The new generation
João Félix: “I’ve got a lot of faith in him. He’s a brilliant player who has a lot of potential, although he’s still got parts of his game which he needs to improve. Both João and Bernardo, although Bernardo a little older. I’m in no doubt at all that both of them will be successful”.

What does João Félix need to do to succeed? “He’s moved to a different league – a more difficult league and he’s playing with and against different players. He needs to be mentally prepared to be able to handle all of the criticism he will receive”.