Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up about aspects of his career and has explained what his relationship with Lionel Messi is really like, during a recent interview with Coach Magazine.
Ronaldo was once again included in the Ballon d’Or shortlist and will be hoping to cap off a successful year on the pitch by claiming one of football’s most coveted personal awards for the fourth time.
The Real Madrid forward has been under pressure in recent weeks after making a slow start to the season, but during the interview with Coach magazine, Ronaldo suggested he likes having his critics as they have helped him throughout his career.
“To use negative people and experiences to motivate you. I actually need my haters – they have helped me achieve all I have achieved.”
The three-time Champions League winner then went on to discuss his relationship with former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson, and who is the toughest opponent he’s ever faced.
He added: “I do see Sir Alex Ferguson as a father figure. All my coaches have been important, but when I arrived at Real Madrid I was a man, when I arrived at Manchester United I was a boy. All of a sudden you are at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and at that time I needed somebody like Sir Alex.
“Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole – he doesn’t give you a second to breathe. He was such a tenacious player, quick, tough in the tackle – when he was at his peak. You knew it would never be an easy game.”
Whilst Ronaldo was happy to answer many questions, he was then asked the all important one about which current footballer he admired the most and the response was somewhat surprising as the Portuguese showed his modest side.
He 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 lot of mutual respect on both sides.”
Both players have been vying to be the best footballer in the world for several years now and it remains a an important topic of discussion.
Whilst neither can truly claim to be better than the other, it appears there is little tension between the two superstars – this will disappoint some who believed the fight to be the greatest had caused a feud between the two.
In truth, the non-existent ‘feud’ has been good for football as a whole and long may it continue!