On loan at Deportivo La Coruna from Real Madrid, Federico Valverde has caused a bit of a stir in Spain after making some surprising comments about Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 19-year-old Uruguayan international, who is currently sidelined with a ruptured thigh muscle, has been touted as a future star at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Signed from Penarol in 2016, Valverde is a central midfielder who has already impressed in La Liga after breaking into Deportivo's starting XI.
“Valverde is a phenomenon," said Luis Suarez after the Real Madrid wonderkid made his international debut for Uruguay in September 2017.
He looks certain for a career at the top level but it's clear that he regretted some things he said over the international break.
Valverde was asked who he thought the best player in the world was by some young children in Spain.
Valverde's initial quotes on Messi v Ronaldo
It's widely understood that everyone employed by Real Madrid will say that Ronaldo is the better of the two.
However, it seems that young Valverde didn't get the memo.
The 19-year-old midfielder was answering questions from young Deportivo fans at an event during the international break.
"[Ronaldo and Messi] are the two best players in the world", said Valverde.
"But I opt for Messi."
Valverde reacts on social media
The Real Madrid starlet quickly posted a video on social media - which has since been deleted - insisting that Ronaldo is actually the best player in the world.
"I wanted to clarify a misunderstanding that occurred today on campus, with the children in an interview," Valverde said in a video posted on his Twitter, as per AS.
"It was a joke about Messi and Ronaldo because he knows that I am from Madrid and I always bet or fight for Cristiano because he is the best player in the world, it shows every day, match by match.
"I wanted to clarify that and if I had felt a fanaticism for Messi I would never have signed for Real Madrid, I wanted to clarify that and make it clear that they are the two best players in the world , but I will always be on the side of Cristiano Ronaldo."
Valverde may have realised that he needed to retract his comments if he hopes to break into the Los Blancos XI with the Portuguese forward.
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