Lionel Messi believes his ‘special’ La Liga matchup with Cristiano Ronaldo will “last forever” in people’s minds despite his rivals switch to Serie A.
The decade long rivalry between two the football titans lasted between 2009 and 2018 with Messi the figurehead of Barcelona and Ronaldo spearheading Real Madrid. The two dominated the football world having 11 Ballon d’Or awards between them (Messi having six and Ronaldo five).
The Barcelona superstar feels the longevity of his rivalry with Ronaldo is etched in the minds of fans even though the Portuguese now plays for Italian giants Juventus. “It was a duel that will last forever because it went on for many years, and it isn’t easy to keep at your highest level for so long—especially at those two clubs we were at, which were so demanding, in Madrid and Barca, the best in the world,” Messi said during an interview.
Messi added: “Competing head-to-head for so many years will be remembered forever. The sporting rivalry between us was very nice on a personal level. I think that the fans also enjoyed it, be they Madrid or Barca supporters, and those who just like football will also have enjoyed it.”
The Argentina Captain fondly remembers the occasions when he played Ronaldo and said Barcelona’s Clasico matches against Madrid were more important when the Portugal international was playing. “When Cristiano was at Madrid, games against them were always special. Real Madrid, because of what those games mean, made it much more special, but those times are behind us and things go on.”