Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Messi has made me a better player'

Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Messi has made me a better player'

- Cristiano Ronaldo makes striking admission about his rivalry with Lionel Messi

- The Portuguese star admitted that the rivalry made both of them better players

- Ronaldo added that he hopes to have a meal with Messi after their retirement

Cristiano Ronaldo has heaped praises on his biggest rival in the game Lionel Messi.

The Juventus forward and the Barcelona superstar have been battling for who is the best player in the world for over a decade.

Ronaldo and Messi share a record, five Ballon D'Or awards between them and have dominated the podium from 2008 to 2017.

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And the unending debate about who is the greatest between the pair, Ronaldo has admitted they would not be the same player if not for the competition between them.

Speaking to TV1 , Ronaldo said: "I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice-versa. When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it's the same for me when he wins."

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Luka Modric broke the ten-year monopoly between Ronaldo and Messi after the Croatian won the Ballon D'Or followinga brilliant outing at the 2018 World Cup.

Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid last season but he is grateful for his clashes with Messi, and added their seemingly bitter rivalry was without malice.

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"I really admire the career he [Messi] has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated." Ronaldo said.

"It's a good rivalry but it's not unique -- Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries."

And the former Manchester United star suggested he could one day sit down for a nice friendly meal with Messi when they have hung up their boots.

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He added: "I have an excellent professional relationship [with Messi] because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years.

"We've never had dinner together but I don't see why we can't in the future. I don't see a problem with that."

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Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo has given a clue that he could be calling it a day with football at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old joined Juventus for a £100million transfer from Real Madrid last season in a four- year deal.

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