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After his The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, a record sixth time, Lionel Messi has opened up on his celebrated rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Spanish publication Tribuna, Messi spoke about the rivalry:

“Because of the big sporting rivalry that’s developed between us over the last few years, because one us played for Barcelona and the other for Real Madrid, and because we won individual awards.

“People perhaps think the rivalry goes beyond football, but it doesn’t. We both want what’s best for our teams and neither of us like losing. It’s something we don’t accept.

“That’s why there’s that competitiveness between us. The important thing is that it stays there, out on the pitch.”


Indeed, the competition between the two has always been fierce. However, since the 34-year-old joined Juventus, the rivalry is slowly dying. Moreover, Ronaldo recently suggested that he would gladly go to dinner with Messi. Joke or not, such words would seem ‘fake news’ only a few years ago

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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