Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi are undoubtedly the two greatest football players of our generation. Their rivalry has taken the game to new heights and inspired both of them to put in some stunning performances.
Lionel Messi who has had some intense matchups with Cristiano Ronaldo in the past has spoken about his admiration for his rival likening the Portuguese superstar to world class athletes like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and LeBron James.
Speaking to La Sexta, the Barcelona 'number 10' said:
"There are many admirable athletes. Rafa Nadal, Federer, LeBron - in all sports there is always someone who stands out and is admirable for his work,
"Cristiano stands out in football. There are many who stand out and always do their best."
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue to be in fine form for Juventus and Barcelona respectively
Despite their advancing years, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have shown no signs of slowing down. The former Real Madrid superstar has started the season in blistering form for the Old Lady and has formed a good partnership with Alvaro Morata.
While Andrea Pirlo has tried to rotate and rest Cristiano Ronaldo in certain matches, there is a marked difference in how Juventus play with and without their talisman showing his importance to the team.
After a slow start to the season which was marked with controversy and exit rumors, Lionel Messi has started to regain his best form for Barcelona. The legendary Argentine who admitted that he had a bad time at the start of the season seems to have put it behind him and now seems committed to Ronald Koeman's cause.
The Catalan giants have slowly worked their way up to the 5th position in La Liga and will need Lionel Messi at his best if they are to overcome Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the title race.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both phenomenal athletes and footballers. The Barcelona star's comments about his long term rival shows the kind of respect and admiration they have for each other. With both driven to be the best, the second half of this season could see both Ronaldo and Messi reaching even greater heights.Published 28 Dec 2020, 11:04 IST