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Ronaldo: ‘I never saw Messi as a rival’

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
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The Portuguese legend opened up on his relationship with Messi after leading Juventus to a historic victory at Camp Nou.

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he has never viewed Lionel Messi as a rival and that they share a ‘very cordial relationship’.

He proved his value as a big-game player once again by scoring twice from the spot to steer Juventus to a 3-0 win over Barcelona. It was the first time an Italian club had scored three goals at Camp Nou.

Ronaldo won his first penalty in the 13th-minute and expertly put it away before doing so again in the second half. Weston McKennie scored the other goal for the Bianconeri.

Messi, on the other hand, was helpless to prevent the inevitable despite pushing with all his might. The Argentine’s determination was there for all to see, but the Juventus defense and Gianluigi Buffon kept him at bay.

And now Ronaldo, who shared a quick embrace with Messi before kick-off, revealed he doesn’t view the Barcelona skipper as a rival.

“I have always had a very cordial relationship with him,” the 35-year-old told Movistar.

“I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him. I never saw him as a rival.

“He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him.

“But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always.”

The 3-0 win secured Juventus’ spot as Group G winners because of a superior head-to-head record against Barcelona, despite finishing level on 15 points.

Ronaldo added: “Barcelona are going through a difficult time, but it is still Barcelona.

“The truth is that we are very happy, we knew it was an almost impossible mission, it was a complicated mission and we played well.

“The key was to get into the game well, we scored two early and from there we believed it was possible.”