We’re not friends! Cristiano Ronaldo on his relationship with Lionel Messi
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is full of respect for Lionel Messi but admits that the pair are not friends away from the pitch
Cristiano Ronaldo insists that he is full of respect for Lionel Messi but admits that the pair are not friends away from football.
The on-pitch rivalry between the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars has been at its most intense over the last couple of seasons, prompting many to speculate that Ronaldo and Messi have a frosty relationship away from the game.
But Ronaldo, who watched Messi collect his fourth straight Ballon d’Or award last month, insists that there is no bitterness between the duo, despite admitting they are not “real friends”.
“[Messi is] a great player,” Ronaldo told Sky Sports. “We have a professional relationship like I have with the other players.
“I’m not a friend of his because we don’t share the same dressing room, we don’t go out for dinner. I respect him like a professional but we are not like real friends.”
Ronaldo, 28, added that individual honours such as the Ballon d’Or will always be less important to him than winning trophies with his club.
He said: “It’s not about individual trophies, they are not going to change your life.
“Of course every trophy is important but it’s not the end of the world. It’s a trophy and important but I think other trophies like the Champions League is more important.”
Ronaldo was also full of praise for Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who he rates as the best coach around.
“Jose is the best coach in the world,” he added. “To work with him is fantastic. We have a great relationship and speak the same language. We are friends.”