Ahead of this Sunday’s El Clasico, we take a look at the time in which Cristiano Ronaldo hugged Leo Messi during a final.
The Ronaldo vs Messi rivalry reached levels of competition that kept us all on the edge of our seats. Leo had the upper hand during the first four years that Cristiano played in Real Madrid. There was even a time in which the Portuguese star got tired of being number two all the time.
The press started hearing rumors of Ronaldo speaking ill of Leo in front of his teammates because of how fed-up he was. But something changed at the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Carlo Ancelotti took over Real Madrid. The Italian manager somehow knew that Los Blancos were about to start making history and winning trophies.
All he needed to do was make them work well together and they would start winning trophies. While the situation was improving in the capital, Barcelona was a mess under manager Gerardo Martino. The squad didn’t have Luis Suarez yet, better years were yet to come.
Messi did have Neymar on his side but they weren’t nearly as competitive as Real Madrid. The Blaugrana suffered a terrible end of La Liga after losing the tournament against Atletico Madrid during the last match of the season. Things were not going well for Messi and company. All they had was the Copa del Rey.
Ronaldo sits out the Copa del Rey.
Due to a suspension, Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on the Copa del Rey final alongside other teammates. He attended Mestalla Stadium in Valencia to support his teammates. The game had a brand new Gareth Bale playing for Los Blancos that kept Cristiano very relaxed. Everybody knew that the Welshman was the answer to the Portuguese player’s absence.
This was the first time the supporters felt that another player could take on that responsibility. Despite having a very competitive squad, the game wasn’t easy for Los Blancos. The final result came after a solo goal scored by Gareth Bale during the second half of the game. Ronaldo celebrated this title like crazy, but there was a heartfelt moment we all witnessed.
Ronaldo truly felt a shift happening in the power structure. Leo was no longer the best player in the world at the time. Destiny was finally smiling over Cristiano’s head. The Real Madrid star didn’t need to prove anything, he won his second Ballon d’Or a year prior to this event. This was also the first time we saw Ronaldo behave graciously in the face of victory.
An honest hug to Leo Messi.
As the fans of both players keep butchering each other over who is the better player, Ronaldo was miles ahead of everybody. During the celebrations after the final whistle, Cristiano immediately approached Leo to talk to him. Rather than simply getting closer for a simple handshake, he approached closer to hug the Argentine.
Ronaldo had been on the other end of this situation too many times to count in the previous four years. It was time for Messi to experience this feeling that would become more common in years to come. This was an image of the two best players in history at their most human moment.
Leo was vulnerable while Ronaldo was consoling him for losing a chance to win a trophy. This is exactly the image we want to keep in our minds after both of them retire from the sport. Let us hope that they find each other after they retire and go for a meal that can bring them even closer together.
There are supporters who believe you have to humiliate your opponent when he is down. This couldn’t be further from the truth and how rivalries should work. These people know nothing about football and its essence.
When will we get to watch Messi and Ronaldo playing a final again? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.