Cristiano Ronaldo says it hurts to see Lionel Messi cry
It's not easy to come out and say good things about one's biggest rival while evoking a positive emotional response from the fans, but Cristiano Ronaldo has done just that. Earlier this year, the Portuguese captain spoke about Lionel Messi's retirement.
“[Messi] has made a tough decision [to retire from international football] and people should understand it,” he said.
“He isn’t accustomed to defeats and disappointments, not even finishing second. Missing a penalty doesn’t make you a bad player. It hurts to see Messi in tears and I hope he returns to his country one day because they need him.”
Ronaldo's comments about Messi deserve the utmost respect as it takes a good heart to come out and speak highly of a player who is often considered his nemesis.
Messi had announced his shock retirement from international football in the wake of Argentina's penalty shootout defeat against Chile in the final of Copa America Centenario.
He was the first player to step up for Argentina during the shootout and he could have put his side in the lead as Arturo Vidal had already missed from the spot for Chile. However, the Argentine captain failed to even get his shot on target.
The 29-year old was seen crying his heart out in disappointment later, and one can understand the emotional reasons behind this shock announcement.
The Copa America Centenario was Argentina's and Messi's third final in as many years, and they finished second best on all three occasions. In all three finals, the match went to extra-time.
During the final of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Argentina lost to Germany after Mario Gotze scored a late goal in extra-time. In 2015 and 2016, the Argentines lost to Chile via a penalty shootout as the games ended 0-0 after extra time. In addition, he was part of the Argentine team that lost to Brazil in the Copa America 2007 final.
Messi's retirement was met with mixed responses from around the world. Many greats of the game including his compatriot, Diego Maradona, have urged Messi to come out of retirement.
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo is easily the most common argument in the football world and it is also a never-ending one. Despite the constant debate among the fans on this matter, the two players have always shown great respect towards each other.
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