Cristiano Ronaldo, the legendary forward for Al Nassr and the Portuguese national team, has officially declared the end of his long-standing rivalry with Argentine icon Lionel Messi. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Ronaldo emphasized the healthy nature of their competition and expressed gratitude for the journey they’ve shared.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, marked the occasion by acknowledging his remarkable achievement of 850 career goals. He hailed it as a historic milestone and expressed his desire to continue reaching new heights in his career.
Addressing the conclusion of his rivalry with Messi, Ronaldo stated, “I don’t see things like that; the rivalry is over. It was a healthy rivalry, and the spectators liked it a lot. Whoever likes Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have to hate Messi and vice versa because they are both very good. We’ve done well; we have changed the history of football, and we’ll keep on doing it. We are respected all over the world; that’s the most important thing.”
Ronaldo, now 38 years old, elaborated on their professional relationship, saying, “He makes his way; I make mine, even if we’re playing outside Europe. From what I’ve seen, he has done well, and so have I. It’s about continuing; the legacy continues. I’ve said there’s no rivalry. We’ve shared the stage for 15 years, and we ended up being—I wouldn’t say friends—because I never dined with him. We are professional colleagues, and we respect each other.”
The Portuguese star’s recent milestone of 850 career goals took him by surprise, and he expressed his gratitude to those who supported him throughout his journey. “The 850 goals are a historic achievement. It was a surprise for me; I never thought I would reach them. But I want more; I want to be at the top, to think big. I want to thank those who helped me, all the clubs where I played, and the national team.”
Ronaldo and Messi’s rivalry was a defining feature of European football, particularly during their stints with Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, in the El Clasico. While their battles on the pitch are etched in football history, Ronaldo’s declaration signals a new chapter in the careers of two of the sport’s greatest icons, as they continue to inspire fans worldwide.