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‘The legacy lives on’: Cristiano Ronaldo says rivalry with Lionel Messi is over

Cristiano Ronaldo in an interview with Record, a Portuguese newspaper, has made it clear that his 15-year long “rivalry” is over.

“I don’t see things like that, the rivalry is gone. It was good, spectators liked it,” said Ronaldo.

“If you love Cristiano Ronaldo, you don’t have to hate (Lionel) Messi. We have both changed the history of world football.

“We shared the stage for 15 years so the respect is there. I’m not saying that we are friends, I never chatted with him, but do I respect him.”

Lionel Messi, the Inter Miami star who led Argentina to the World Cup title in December, is in prime contention to win his eighth Ballon d’Or award.

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Meanwhile, Ronaldo, a five-time winner who now plays for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, missed the cut for the first time since 2003.

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“He’s followed his path and I have followed mine, regardless of playing outside of Europe. From what I’ve seen, he’s been doing well and so have I,” says Ronaldo.

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“The legacy lives on, but I don’t see the rivalry like that. We shared the stage many times, it was 15 years. I’m not saying we’re friends, I’ve never had dinner with him, but we’re professional colleagues and we respect each other.”

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