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'Messi is magic' - Cristiano Ronaldo pays tribute to old rival and opens up on relationship

WHAT HAPPENED? As more of his now-infamous interview with Piers Morgan continues to release, Ronaldo is seen speaking candidly on his rivalry and relationship with Messi. They're arguably the two greatest players of all time who shared a generation.

WHAT HE SAID: “Amazing player, he is magic, top," Ronaldo explained on Piers Morgan Uncensored. "As a person, we share the stage 16 years, imagine, 16 years, we share. So, I have great relationship with him."

He added: "I'm not friend of him in terms of, what I mean is a friend is the guy who is with you in your house, speaking on the phone, no, but it's like a team-mate. He’s a guy that I really respect the way he always speaks about me. Even his wife or my wife, my girlfriend, they always respect and they're from Argentina. My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good. What I am going to say about Messi? A good guy who does everything for football."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo and Messi have spent over a decade continually shattering expectations and defying the conventions of football to carve out one of the most spectacular sporting rivalries imaginable. The pair share a combined 12 Ballon d'Or awards, with Messi holding the edge on seven, compared to Ronaldo's five.


Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'OrGettyLionel Messi Ballon d'OrGettyCristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi Juventus BarcelonaGetty

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? After an eventful week before the World Cup, Ronaldo's focus must now be on Qatar and leading the line for Portugal.