Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star explains true Lionel Messi feelings after Barcelona win
express– Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he’s never seen Lionel Messi as a rival in the aftermath of Juventus’ 3-0 win over Barcelona on Tuesday night. The Portugal international was the star of the show at the Nou Camp, finding the net twice. And while plenty has been written about the footballing gods over the years, the 35-year-old has insisted he has no issue with the Argentina international
Ronaldo got the better of Messi on Tuesday night, scoring twice to give Juventus all three Champions League points.
And, speaking after the game, the Portugal international insisted he’s never seen the Barcelona star as a competitor.
“We’ve been in the awards ceremonies for 12-13 years now and I never saw him as a rival, that’s all stirred up in the media,” he said.
“We always got along perfectly well and if you ask Leo, he’ll tell you the same thing.”
Juventus were too strong for Barcelona.
They lost the match in Turin last month but were simply too clinical, managing their three goals from four shots on target.
Barcelona had more shots overall, as well as more of the ball, but ultimately couldn’t find a way past Andrea Pirlo’s side.
The Italian was delighted after seeing his team rise to the occasion and also opened up on Ronaldo’s mindset before the win.
Pirlo said: “Ronaldo was very motivated to put in a good performance here against his eternal rival.
“So when you’re that motivated, it becomes simple.
“There are many games in a season and it’s easier to get fired up for fixtures like this, but we mustn’t lose sight of the real target, which is Serie A.
“So we have to be this concentrated and committed there too.”
Pirlo feels the match is a significant step forward for his Juventus side.
“It was important for our journey that we pick up where we left off in the derby,” said the Italian.
“When you start with that focus, concentration and determination, then the quality emerges.
“We had prepared the match to create superiority in midfield with three against their two, the midfielders like McKennie able to push up, as we knew they had difficulty stopping them pushing up through the middle.
“The tactical plan worked and then the players did really well to make the most of the scoring opportunities.”
The result means Juventus are now likelier to face an easier knockout tie than Barcelona because of the fact they topped the group.
And, for Ronald Koeman’s side, that’s yet another blow.
Barcelona are misfiring in La Liga, currently sitting seventh in the table after a shock 2-1 defeat to Cadiz over the weekend.
And whether they can end their wait for a first Champions League triumph since 2015 is something only time will tell.