Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes the rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi has helped to make both players even stronger.
Ronaldo and Messi are the two frontrunners for the 2017 Ballon d’Or, of which the winner will be announced on Thursday.
Should Ronaldo claim the individual gong handed out by France Football, he will go level on five crowns with his Argentinian nemesis.
Despite his underwhelming form in LaLiga this season, having scored just two goals in 10 appearances, Ronaldo is still expected by many to claim the prize, thanks largely down to his role in Madrid’s league and Champions League double in 2016-17.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Borussia Dortmund, Zidane said: “It’s true, when we look at their statistics, they’re amazing.
“It’s surprising to see the amount of goals they’ve scored, actually. They’re two great players.
“One makes the other better and vice-versa. I think it’ll continue, this duel, for some time to come.”