Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo 'respects' Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Writing in his column for the Telegraph, Ancelotti claims that Ronaldo and Messi need each other as they 'push the other to new heights'.
Ronaldo, 31, has shared the honour of being named the world's best footballer with Messi on the past eight occasions. Ancelotti, then, clearly believes the two motivate each other to be the best.
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He stated: "I always get asked about Lionel Messi and how Cristiano regards him. The truth is, we did not spend all our days at Madrid talking about Messi.
"Cristiano respects Messi; he respects him a lot. In a way I think they need one another. Each one pushes the other to new heights, to new records of goalscoring. Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in 2003 and played his first international tournament in 2004. Twelve years on he is still the biggest European star. That’s incredible.
"Were it not for the other, one of Cristiano or Messi would probably have won the Ballon d’Or eight times, rather than three for one and five for the other. Or perhaps they would not have flown so high without the other pushing them on. As a manager it was a pleasure to be in charge of Ronaldo.
"He wanted to play every week and he wanted to score every week. I never went to bed the night before a match worrying about whether he was going to be ready."
Ronaldo, of course, is currently gearing up for Saturday's Euro 2016 Round of 16 clash against Croatia.
The former Manchester United man scored two goals to help Portugal secure a place in the knockout stages of the tournament and will now be desperate to continue his impact on the tournament.
Messi, on the other hand, will be hoping to lead Argentina to Copa America success as they prepare for a final showdown against Chile on Sunday evening.
Do you agree with Ancelotti's comments? Have your say below!