Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has denied any form of rivalry between him and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Instead, the 31-year old said there is a “big mutual respect” between the two of them.
Both competing for rival clubs, the pair have been named as the two best players in the world and when asked which opponent he admires the most, Ronaldo said:
There is a big mutual respect between myself and Lionel Messi. The media like to make out like we have this big rivalry, but we don’t. It is not like we are good friends, but there is a mutual respect on both sides.
Messi (29) has scored 14 goals in 11 appearances for his club this season while Ronaldo has four goals in nine appearances for Los Blancos.
Ronaldo cited himself when asked
On who has been the key influence on his career, the Portugal international said:
My biggest inspiration has always been myself; nobody puts bigger demands on me than me.
I said I admired Figo and Rui Costa, but I never wanted to emulate anybody – I have just always focused on being the best me I can.
Ronaldo also went on to discuss his most important lesson that football has taught him, adding:
To use negative people and experiences to motivate you. I actually need my haters – they have helped me achieve all I have achieved.