Lionel Messi Hails ‘Phenomenal’ CR7
Barcelona and Real Madrid players do not regularly praise one another, but Lionel Messi has become an exception hailing Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal star helped Real Madrid to retain their Champions League title.
Ronaldo’s constant drive to improve is what most impressed the Argentine, who labelled him as one of the world’s best players.
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“He is a phenomenal player who has many qualities that year after year he improves and that is why he is one of the best in the world.”
The Barcelona icon and Ronaldo are often competing for the top team and individual honours in the world game, with the Madrid forward hot favourite to win his fifth Ballon d’Or in 2017.
That would see the former Manchester United star match the Argentina international after his side’s 4-1 final win over Juventus in Cardiff.
Messi however, insisted the perceived rivalry between the pair is hyped up by the media and was happy to talk up Ronaldo’s ability.
“That thing about our rivalry is something more invented by the press than by us.
“What we want is to do our best every year, to do the best for our teams and what is spoken from outside is not something I give importance to,” Messi told Tencent Sports in an interview.
Speaking further in the interview with Tencent Sports Lionel Messi said he wants to finish his career at Barca, the club he joined as a 13-year-old.
He has only one year left on his current contract but intends to continue under new manager Ernesto Valverde.
“It’s what I always wanted and dreamed. I would love to finish my career at Barcelona,” he said.
Lionel Messi has agreed in principle to a new deal at Barcelona, which will tie him to the La Liga club until 2021 or 2022.
Spanish newspaper, Marca, reports that the 29-year-old’s pay packet will vary from year to year. With the agreement close, lawyers will draft up the contracts in the coming weeks.
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Messi managed 54 goals in all competitions for Barcelona in just 52 games last season.
He has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Camp Nou, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.