“The toughest opponent” – Real Madrid legend makes ‘incredible’ Lionel Messi admission despite being close to Cristiano Ronaldo
Former Real Madrid defender and close friend of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo has claimed that Lionel Messi is the hardest opponent he has faced. The Brazilian formed a brilliant partnership alongside Ronaldo at the Bernabeu as Los Blancos lifted a multitude of trophies.
Speaking to The Athletic, he said:
"Messi is incredible, the toughest opponent I’ve ever faced. We all know the quality he has even now, aged 35, and before it was the same. El Clasico has always been one of the best games to watch and play."
"I was lucky enough to have featured in one of the best eras of Clasicos. But it wasn’t just Messi, there were other players who were also incredible.”
In what was arguably the greatest era of rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Marcelo, alongside the Portugal star, played a key role against the Argentine on many occasions.
The left-back left the Bernabeu at the start of the season after his contract ran out. He joined Greek side Olympiacos, only to leave them mid-season to join Fluminense, the Brazilian club where his career started.
Marcelo also opened up about his relationship with other members of the Real Madrid squad. He said:
"There were a lot of videos of Cris and I doing jokes in training, the celebration (“Siuuuh!”) and so on, but Sergio (Ramos), Casemiro, Luka (Modric), Karim (Benzema)… I have a lot of friends in football."
"Of course, what came out was always about Cristiano and the celebration and it’s super normal, but I have other friends as well with whom I do things outside of football."
Serie A star picks between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has chosen Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi as his idol. He also went on to add that the Argentine was on top.
When asked on TikTok, he said:
“I like Ronaldo more as he is my idol, but Messi is the top.”
The winger has been instrumental as Napoli hold a strong 19-point lead at the top of the table. He has bagged 14 goals and 16 assists in 30 appearances as the Naples side look certain to lift their first Serie A title since the 1989-90 season.
Kvaratskhelia earlier expressed his admiration for Real Madrid when his agent revealed that the player was a massive fan of Los Blancos. It remains to be seen if the La Liga giants can pull off a move for the winger.
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