Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t believe trophies have any impact in deciding who’s the best player in the world, proclaiming he’s better than Barcelona superstar and Ballon d’Or rival Lionel Messi.
Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer spoke to Spanish newspaper El Pais back in August, in an interview withheld until now to promote his upcoming documentary. Jesus Balseiro of AS translated his views on Messi’s success:
- It doesn’t bother me. If you look back over my past eight years, I’ve always been at the peak; and that is difficult. Name me someone else who has done it? After that, being No.1 or No.2 is a matter of small details, such as if you win trophies or not. Perhaps for you, Messi is the best; in my head, I am the best – and everyone should think that about ourselves. That is why I have been able to achieve so much in my career.
- It was hard for me to watch Messi picking up several Ballon d’Ors. I’d be thinking: “Why should I go to the gala?”
Barcelona may be thriving as a team, but Ronaldo has been proving himself with individual accolades of late. After surpassing Raul as Real Madrid’s top scorer earlier this term, he’s now honing in on another goal record.
“I am not the humblest person in the world, I admit that. I am not fake. But in one way I am very humble. I like to learn.
I don’t mind people hating me, because it pushes me. When I go to play away, they are always against me, but it’s good. You have to see the good things from the haters. I need the enemy. It is part of the business. They start screaming when I touch the ball. It had started already when I was 18 or 19. It is not a problem for me.”
Messi, on the other hand, is seen as a far more humble creature, one who prefers to stay out of the spotlight despite his unparalleled quality on the pitch.
Recently, a poll of 20 Brasilerao Serie A coaches were asked if they’d rather sign Messi or Ronaldo given the chance. Despite Brazil’s historic rivalry with Argentina, Messi took 75% of the votes.