Messi has won the prestigious prize for the last three years, with the pair once again named on the 23-man shortlist for the 2012 award.
But Real Madrid star Ronaldo moved to play down any talk of a rivalry with Messi, insisting it has been built up by the media and that he has “a lot of respect” for the Argentina international.
“[The rivalry] is a question of the media,” Ronaldo told France Football. “We constantly face it to sell more papers and improve television audiences.
“The truth is I’m a little tired of it. It’s a little heavy but I’m used to it. I don’t like to compare myself with others.
“Messi and I are different, that’s for sure. I respect him a lot.”
He added: “Messi can win [the Ballon d’Or] but so can Xavi or [Andrés] Iniesta. And we cannot forget [Didier] Drogba or Falcao. They can also receive the trophy.”
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news