Lionel Messi has admitted that he misses facing off against fellow luminary Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain.
The duo is widely considered to be the best two footballers of the modern generation. The pair dominated the Ballon d’Or for more than ten years between 2008-2018, before Croatia’s Luka Modric finally won the award this year.
Messi, who, like Ronaldo, is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has once again been in stellar form for Barcelona in La Liga this season, with the Blaugrana looking set to convincingly win the title. Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid, meanwhile, look to be a shadow of their former selves, having struggled following his departure to Juventus last summer.
Messi and Ronaldo won’t be competing against each other domestically this term, but nor will they face off in the Champions League, either. The Blaugrana, having come through the quarter-finals comfortably after defeating Manchester United over two legs, are now 6/4 favourites to win the tournament outright, according to bookmakers in the UK. Juventus, however, were eliminated at the hands of relative minnows Ajax Amsterdam. The humiliating defeat ironically came after the Dutch club had knocked out Ronaldo’s former side Madrid in the previous round.
Ronaldo was a key part of the Madrid setup over a decade of glory and played a key role in helping the side to win the past three consecutive Champions League titles. In terms of the La Liga, however, it was Messi who got the better of his rival on most occasions. During his stay with Madrid, Ronaldo won two La Liga titles. The 31-year-old Messi, meanwhile, has nine La Liga titles to his name.
Messi told Radio C5N that it was “lovely” playing against his rival in Spain, although he admitted being “annoyed” at having to see Ronaldo pick up so many awards, often at his expense.
The question of who is better between Ronaldo and Messi will always be a topic that is fiercely debated. Messi may enjoy more success as far as the La Liga goes. However, Ronaldo did manage to win Euro 2016 and boasts an international major trophy to his name, something Messi does not.