Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are poised for another on-field encounter in an upcoming friendly match early next year.
Ronaldo, in a display of sportsmanship, downplayed his longstanding rivalry with Lionel Messi, emphasizing that there is “no hatred” between them.
The football legends, boasting a remarkable 13 Ballon d’Or awards collectively, are set to face off again as Inter Miami takes on Al Nassr in a Friendly on February 1.
While Ronaldo and Messi enjoyed illustrious careers in European football with Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, they now navigate the later stages of their football journeys outside the continent.
Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in January, securing his status as the highest-paid footballer globally.
Meanwhile, Messi, after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, has made a significant impact in the MLS with Inter Miami.
The upcoming match, designed to reunite the two stars, is a testament to the respect Ronaldo holds for his longstanding rival. Ronaldo stated, “Hatred? I don’t see things like that; the rivalry is over.”
He emphasized the positive impact they had on football history, garnering worldwide respect. Ronaldo acknowledged their individual paths outside of Europe and expressed satisfaction with their respective performances.
Messi echoed similar sentiments during his Ballon d’Or acceptance speech, characterizing their rivalry as a great battle and emphasizing the difficulty of staying at the top in football.
Reflecting on their shared competitiveness, Messi praised the enduring legacy they built during their remarkable careers.