Lionel Messi has given his view on Cristiano Ronaldo’s three Ballon d’Or awards
Much is made about the relationship between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but the Argentine insists they are nothing but footballers competing for the same awards but playing for separate teams.
One of those awards is the Ballon d’Or title. The two players have shared the trophy in each of the past eight seasons.
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Ronaldo pipped Messi in 2008, 2013 and 2014, and the Argentine insists the Real Madrid star fully deserved his trio of awards.
“When Cristiano won his Ballons d'Or, he deserved them, Messi told Egyptian TV, per Marca. “They are decided on by managers, players, journalists and FIFA, making the winner a deserved one. He had earned his award every single time he has won it.”
Messi opened up about his relationship with Ronaldo, insisting he doesn’t compare himself to the Portugal international.
“I have always said that comparisons are a thing of the press, making a big drama about what one has won over the other and things like that,” the 28-year-old continued.
“I just try to help my team out, play well, improve every year and do my job. I don't compare myself with Cristiano or anybody. I only think about myself and my teammates and how to go out and win games.”
“We don't know each other personally, only through what we do out on the playing fields. We don't see each other off them enough to have any kind of relationship, but not for any special reason. Quite simply, he is in another team and we only meet up each time we play against each other, and that's that.”
Neymar or Suarez for the 2016 award?
It would be an engrossing narrative if the game’s best two players had something of a bitterness towards one another, but that simply isn’t the case.
They’re both too focused on winning Ballon d’Ors.
That said, the emergence of Neymar and Luis Suarez’s terrific season could see either Barcelona player break Messi and Ronaldo’s hold on the coveted award.
Kaka was the last player not named Messi or Ronaldo to win it, back in 2007. If anything underlines the legacy of the two players, it should be that.