Cristiano Ronaldo believes his rivalry with Lionel Messi has plenty of distance left to run after scooping the Best FIFA Men’s Player award in London.
Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo was honoured at the gala after a poll of international head coaches, captains and members of the media saw him come out ahead of Barcelona counterpart Messi, with Brazil and PSG forward Neymar in third.
Speaking to reporters at London Palladium, Ronaldo initially sought to play down the rivalry before apparently laying down a long-term challenge to the 30-year-old Messi.
“I don’t compete with Leo,” he said. “He is a player, who is in the same era. He won five times. I won five times too — individual awards for the best in the world. So things are as they are. Obviously, I am happy because, as I said before, I am at the best club in the world. I have had the opportunity to demonstrate that I am at a very high level during the last few years. And I am still [physically] very well. So I am very quiet. I will see what’s going to happen tomorrow, but at the moment I have to enjoy this nice moment of my life because you never know what will happen next.”
But, asked whether Ronaldo versus Messi was over, the 32-year-old added: “It didn’t finish yet… it is just starting.”