- Cristiano Ronaldo has been known to ask pundits who prefer Lionel Messi why they think that.
- Ex-teammate Rio Ferdinand said on TV this week that Ronaldo once text him that very question.
- Pundit Gary Lineker had said he prefers Messi, at which point Ronaldo asked Ferdinand why.
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Cristiano Ronaldo is so determined to be the best he will text TV pundits asking why they prefer Lionel Messi, according to his former teammate Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo at Manchester United, said the Portugal player is an “obsessed human” when it comes to the game.
Speaking during the BBC’s Euro 2020 coverage, Ferdinand said: “He’s a phenomenal player but someone who thinks about everything in the game to get every little bit out of himself. He uses negativity as fuel.”
Ronaldo is known for his extreme dedication to the game. Stories about his brutal training regime are well-known. Just this week for example, a former coach claimed he used to train alone behind a hill to perfect his skills away from his teammates.
Speaking with former England player turned presenter Gary Lineker during coverage of Portugal’s Wednesday game with France, Ferdinand shared an anecdoate that perfectly sums up Ronaldo’s competitiveness.
Ferdinand told Lineker, who makes no secret of the fact he believes Messi is a greater player than Ronaldo, the following: “You [Lineker] say Messi is the better out of the two. He will text me saying ‘why has he said that?’
“It’s his competitive nature and you need that to be the best.”
It is unclear if Ronaldo actually texted Ferdinand to complain about Lineker’s preference for Messi, or if Ferdinand was simply creating a hypothetical scenario.
Ronaldo v Messi – a rivalry that has spanned decades
Comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are nothing new. The pair have been contesting best player of the year accolades since 2007, and together they have a combined 11 FIFA Ballon d’Or trophies.
The two first played in the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League semi-finals when Ronaldo’s Manchester United defeated Messi’s Barcelona 1-0 over two legs. Since that game, they have met each other 36 times with Messi winning 16 matches to Ronaldo’s nine.
The former Real Madrid winger has previously said that his rivalry with Messi pushed him to be a better player. Speaking in 2019, he said: “I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice-versa.
“When I am winning trophies it must sting him and it’s the same for me when he wins.
“I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated.”