Barcelona, March 2 (IANS) Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi said there is mutual respect between him and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, but admitted that their relationship does not go beyond that.
Messi and Ronaldo are widely considered the best footballers of the modern era, with a continuing debate over which of the two is the greatest.
While Messi believes that they show respect towards one another, the Argentina star stopped short of saying they have a pleasant relationship.
“We are professionals that defend our teams, and rivals in this game, nothing more than that. Sometimes it happens that we win or that we lose. There has always been respect and nothing more,” Messi was quoted as saying by Argentine newspaper El Grafico on Tuesday.
Messi counts seven La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and four Champions League winners’ medals on his incredible list of achievements with Barcelona, but is yet to taste international success, having been a losing finalist in the 2014 World Cup and 2007 and 2015 Copa Americas.
The 28-year-old has 49 international goals to his name and is closing in on Gabriel Batistuta’s record of 57 for Argentina, but Messi insisted it is major honours as opposed to individual accolades that motivate him.
“I prefer to win something with the national team. I am not interested in records. They are there, but that does not make you win titles,” Messi concluded.