Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo admitted his admiration for the Argentine star Lionel Messi, stressing that the competition between them contributed to their superiority more, pointing out that the relationship between them is mutual respect.

The former Real Madrid star, who moved to Juventus in the summer of 2018, told the Portuguese channel TVI on Wednesday;

"It's a good opponent in football, but it's not exceptional," the 34-year-old said. The common rivalry in sports is that it is healthy. "

For Bianconeri, competing with a star with Messi's skill is something that always leads him to outdo himself and give the best.

Ronaldo, the five-time World Player of the Year, said he had no doubt: "Messi made me a better player and vice versa. When I win titles, it bothers him.

When asked about his off-court relationship with the "flea" with whom he shares the Golden Ball record, Ronaldo pointed to mutual respect.

"I have an excellent professional relationship with Messi because we have shared the same moments 15 years ago. I did not eat dinner with him, but why not in the future, I will not oppose it."

Messi, Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk have all been nominated for the 2018-2019 European Footballer of the Year award.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Monaco on 29 August, where the draw for the Champions League group stage will also take place.