Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo thinks Lionel Messi has pushed him to become a better player and says he enjoys a “good relationship” with the Barcelona star.
The pair dominated the Ballon d’Or voting for a decade, winning it five times apiece before Luka Modric broke their stranglehold last year.
Messi and Ronaldo were second and third respectively for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2019, which was won by Virgil van Dijk.
Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 and Messi recently confessed he has missed having the Portugal international in LaLiga.
Speaking at UEFA’s award ceremony ahead of Thursday’s Champions League draw, Ronaldo thanked Messi for helping to raise his game and vowed to maintain his high performance levels.
“We have shared the stage [for] 15 years. I don’t know if that’s happened before – the same two guys, all the time,” he said.
“We had that battle in Spain, I pushed him, and he pushed me. So, it’s good to be part of the history of football.
“Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven’t had dinner together yet, but maybe in the future!
“Leo is two years younger than me but I look good for my age. I hope to be here next year, and in two or three. People who don’t like me will continue to see me here.”
Messi, sitting alongside Ronaldo at the glitzy ceremony in Monaco, pipped Ronaldo to be named the Forward of the Season for the 2018-19 Champions League.
“With Cristiano, it was a beautiful rivalry,” he said.
“It’s nice to score goals. The goal is always to try to do things to win, before scoring. But if you can win and score, then [it’s] better.”