As football fans, we have always wondered how awesome it would have been, if Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo played in the same team. They would have formed a part of an unbeatable side! That being said, did you know that Barcelona were once close to signing the Portuguese legend and pairing him up with Messi?
Well, that is what this report from Don Balon says – that the Blaugrana were interested in signing Ronaldo when he was still a young prospect at Portuguese club Sporting CP.
The likes of Real Madrid, Valencia, Manchester United and Inter Milan were the other clubs interested in him back then – and eventually, in 2003 August, Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United took him to England as an 18-year-0ld.
But before he signed for United, Ronaldo reportedly rejected advances from Barcelona, who were keen on finding a strike partner for Messi – according to the claims made by Don Balon.
And recently, the 34-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner himself revealed how Lionel Messi has made him a better player over the years.
“I really admire the career he [Messi] 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,” Ronaldo told TVI in Portugal.
He further added, “It’s a good rivalry but it’s not unique — Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there were Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries,” before concluding:
“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.”
Quotes via AFP.