Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo has acknowledged Lionel Messi as integral part of his success story stating he enjoys a “healthy connection” with the Barcelona superstar.
Over decade, the pair had dominated the Ballon d’Or vote, winning it five times until the last year’s where Luka Modric broke their stranglehold.
Messi and Ronaldo were second and third respectively for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2019, where Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk emerged winner.
In 2018, Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus and Messi admitted he had missed the Portuguese at LaLiga.
Speaking at UEFA’s award ceremony ahead of Thursday’s Champions League draw, Ronaldo thanked Messi for helping to raise his game and vowed to maintain his high performance levels.
“We have shared the stage [for] 15 years. I don’t know if that’s happened before – the same two guys, all the time,” he said.
“We had that battle in Spain, I pushed him, and he pushed me. So, it’s good to be part of the history of football.
“Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven’t had dinner together yet, but maybe in the future!
“Leo is two years younger than me but I look good for my age. I hope to be here next year, and in two or three. People who don’t like me will continue to see me here.”
Messi, sitting alongside Ronaldo at the glitzy ceremony in Monaco, pipped Ronaldo to be named the Forward of the Season for the 2018-19 Champions League.
“With Cristiano, it was a beautiful rivalry,” he said.
“It’s nice to score goals. The goal is always to try to do things to win, before scoring. But if you can win and score, then [it’s] better.”