“I never saw Messi as a rival” – Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus overcame Barcelona at the Nou Camp to seal their place as Group G winners ahead of the Catalans. Portuguese captain and former Real Madrid man Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus beat Barca 3-0 in Spain!
The brace were Ronaldo’s first goals against Barcelona in the Champions League having previous played 5 times against the Spanish giants in the UCL without finding the back of the net. Those two goals, both from the penalty spot were also his 133rd and 134th goals in the Champions League, further extending his record tally in the elite competition.
It was not the most fruitful of nights for his counterpart, Lionel Messi who had a record number of shots (11) without scoring. 7 of Messi’s shots on the night were on target, but Buffon was equal to them.
After the game, Ronaldo when asked of his opinion on the GOAT debate said he doesn’t see Messi as a rival. The pair had shared a hug before kickoff with Messi later swapping shirts with veteran goalkeeper Buffon at fulltime.
Press seeks rivalry, but Ronaldo gets along well with Messi
Ronaldo told journalists that his relationship with the Argentinian has always been cordial, and contrary to what fans may be thinking,
“I have always had a very cordial relationship with Messi,” -Cristiano Ronaldo (Dec 8, 2020).
Although Ronaldo and Messi have shared the podium at the pinnacle of world football, he insisted there was no rivalry between them. He spoke highly of Messi’s contribution to his team (Barcelona) and said that he always gets along well with the Barca captain.
“I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him [Messi]. I never saw Messi as a rival. He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him. But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always.” -Cristiano Ronaldo (Dec 8, 2020).
Barcelona going through tough times
Ronaldo acknowledged that Barcelona like most traditional big clubs, are going through a difficult period, but he still feels that they are capable of doing anything (in terms of winning games and trophies).
“Barcelona are going through a difficult time, but it is still Barcelona,” -Cristiano Ronaldo (Dec 8, 2020).
Always great to return to Spain and to Catalunya, always hard to play in Camp Nou against one of the best teams I ever faced. Today we were a team of Champions! A true, strong and united family! Playing like this, we have nothing to fear until the end of the season… Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/PivPpJ3SLh
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 8, 2020