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Lionel Messi responds to Cristiano Ronaldo's challenge to join him in Italy

ANALYST
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13.11K   //    28 Dec 2018, 09:08 IST

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What's the story?

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has finally responded to longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo's challenge to join him in Italy and reignite their rivalry.

In case you didn't know...

Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid and LaLiga over the summer brought an end to a rivalry that was unmatched in football.

This has prompted several publications to question whether there was a possibility of a reunion between the two players in Italy.

Speaking to Italian media (via Sky Sports) recently, the 33-year-old challenged his Argentine counterpart to join him in the Serie A: "I've played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he's still in Spain."

"I'd like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he's happy there then I respect that."

"Maybe he needs me more. For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy. He's a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don't miss anything here. This is my new life and I'm happy."

Ronaldo even went on to say that he left his comfort zone and took on the challenge in Turin to prove that he's still an incredible player.

The heart of the matter

Weeks later, Messi finally responds to the former Real Madrid star's challenge in an interview with Marca.

The Barcelona ace said, "Accepting Ronaldo's challenge to join Italian football? I don't need any change."

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"I'm at the best team in the world. My challenges are renewed year after year. I do not need to change teams or leagues to set new goals. I am at home and I do not need to change."

The Argentine also looked back at his rivalry with Ronaldo saying, "The rivalry with Cristiano was very healthy and good for the fans."

What's next?

Barcelona has had quite the start to the season with an in-form Messi at the centre of the team. The table-toppers will next face Getafe CF in LaLiga on January 7 with hopes of extending their lead in the league.

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