Lionel Messi claims he has never had a rivalry with the Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, and has insisted that both the players just try do what is necessary for the well being of their respective clubs.
The players have dominated the FIFA’s player of the year awards since 2008, and are widely considered to be the world’s two best footballers. And many people claim that the Portugal international’s success for the past two years has been an inspiration for Messi and his prolific form this season. The Argentine wizard scored 58 goals in 57 matches this season, and provided 23 assists in all competitions and was critical in Barcelona’s treble triumph.
However Messi has dismissed all the claims of having any hard feelings for the Portuguese and has blamed media for inventing this rivalry.
“There is no rivalry – it is just something that the media have invented,” the 27-year-old attacker said in an interview with a British weekly magazine, Shortlist. “It’s not Messi versus Ronaldo; it never has been.”
Many reports last November suggested that the Argentine might be interested in a move away from the Camp Nou, and Arsenal were the favourites to sign him. But now he has insisted that he sees his future at the club where he learned his trade.
“It’s difficult to say how it might have turned out if I’d have gone to Arsenal, he stated. My education would have been different to the one I had at Barcelona but it’s obvious that the Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe.”
“But Barcelona have given me everything; they gave me an opportunity when nobody else would. I have never wanted to play anywhere else and I’ll stay there as long as they want me.”
Despite being in sensational form this season, Messi was quick to praise his teammates, especially one of his strike partners Luis Suarez: “My Barca team-mates are always close and they congratulate me when I score but I couldn’t put in performances like that if I didn’t have exceptional players alongside me. You always want to score but scoring isn’t everything,” he added.
“Just look at Luis Suarez, who wasn’t scoring a lot at the start of the campaign but he was working hard. Now we are all getting among the goals and that is good for the team, that’s what helps us get results.”