Cristiano Ronaldo insists the “difference” between himself and Lionel Messi is that he has won the Champions League with multiple clubs.
The Portugal captain has been talking about his own legacy in Europe’s top competition alongside side that of his arch rival.
Ronaldo has five Champions League titles to his name, lifting one in 2008 with Manchester United and four in five seasons with Real Madrid before he left for Juventus last summer. Messi, meanwhile, has four Champions League titles, all at Barcelona, with his most recent coming in 2015.
Ronaldo is the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer with 126, while Messi is his closest pursuer on 112. They have both registered a phenomenal eight Champions League hat-tricks and are also inseparable with five Ballon d’Or awards each.
Ronaldo, 34, says the fact he’s done it at multiple clubs counts for something. “The difference with Messi is that I played for several clubs and won the Champions League with different clubs,” the forward told DAZN. “I was top scorer in the Champions League six seasons in a row. There aren’t many players who won five Champions League trophies, so this is why I feel that I can identify myself with this tournament.”
Ronaldo clearly has a healthy chunk of respect for his former La Liga adversary, praising Messi’s achievements and dedication to his craft.
“Messi is an excellent player who will be remembered not just for his Ballon d’Or wins, but also for having improved – like me – year after year,” Ronaldo said.
“I wake up every morning with the idea in my head of training, with the objective of achieving something more, not just to earn money.” Ronaldo’s
Juventus are 9.50 to win the Champions League this season, with Barcelona and Messi priced at 6.50.