Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have a rivalry that was born ever since the Portuguese midfielder won his 1st Ballon d’Or award back in 2008 with Lionel Messi coming in 2nd place. This was during the time when C.Ronaldo was a player of Manchester United, even though he was still not playing in the Spanish League with Messi there still existed a sense of competition between both players.
The rivalry reached new scales after C.Ronaldo made his way to Real Madrid and got the chance to compete with Lionel Messi on a more direct level as they had to see each other during the Spanish League matches on 2 different periods of time throughout a season.
Whenever those players are compared a debate is usually brought up as fans can never actually agree on which one is the better overall performer. C.Ronaldo is generally considered to be the more complete player as he has a physical presence which allows him to take headers fairly easy as well as being capable of plowing right through defenders just because of his sheer strength meanwhile Messi is generally labeled as the most naturally skillful player as he can slip his way past everyone by flicks and dribbles.
For the longest time, the media has propelled a series of rumors stating that C.Ronaldo and Lionel Messi do not have a healthy relationship due to all of the fierce competition that exists between them but the Portuguese star of Real Madrid has spoken to the press and shut down those rumors.
“It’s not at all true that we have a bad relationship. We are colleagues and have a professional relationship. We don’t have a relationship outside of football like I have with some other players. He tries to do his best for his club and national team and I do the same. There is a certain rivalry where we are each doing our utmost for our teams. This rivalry is part of my life. It is only normal that people compare us’’ C.Ronaldo told reporters as he responded to a series of questions and rumors that involved him and Messi not having a good relationship.
Chelsea boss José Mourinho has revealed that he tried to get Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric a few months ago. The Croatian international moved to Madrid for £ 35 million from Tottenham only two years ago. After a first season of numerous troubles, Modric has established himself as one of the first-team regulars at Madrid. He is vital in the counter-attacking style of football employed by manager Carlo Ancelotti. It was Mourinho who brought Modric to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Interestingly, Chelsea tried to get Modric even when he was at Tottenham. Before moving to Madrid, Chelsea are believed to have made a £ 40 million offer for the midfielder. After rejecting this transfer, Mourinho was able to get the player for £ 35 million next summer. Modric would have been the perfect replacement for Frank Lampard, but Mourinho says that he respects the decision of the 27-year-old. It is now understood that Modric has been the first choice to replace Lampard, but since the player wanted to stay at Madrid, Chelsea went on and signed Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
The 27-year-old comes from Barcelona for just £ 28 million and it has all the makes a great transfer. Fabregas, just like Modric, is well experienced when it comes to playing in the Premier League. “I called Modric only privately but he doesn’t want [to join] Chelsea. You know I really appreciate Luka Modric and his qualities. But he stays in Real Madrid,” said Mourinho. After moving to Madrid, the Croatian international has won several major trophies including the Champions League last season. It is understood that he will remain a key part of Carlo Ancelotti’s plan even after the Spanish club brought in the likes of Toni Kroos.
James Rodriguez has also been signed for more than £ 70 million.
Athletic Bilbao will be taking on Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the league match this weekend. Ahead of the match, Lionel Messi has come under increasing criticism for his below par performances in the last three outings for Barcelona. The Catalan club have lost the last three matches and as a result of also effectively out of three different competitions. The disastrous week for the club has been compounded by the reports about Messi being unhappy at the club. The 26-year-old has been regarded as the world’s best player for several years now.
He has now gone more than four matches without scoring, which is the worst run of form he has endured since 2011. More than scoring, his performances on the pitch have attracted a lot of criticism. This started in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Messi famously covered just a kilometre more than the goalkeeper Pinto. Manager Gerardo Martino had come to his rescue by saying that the club wanted to make Messi have less influence on the ball so that he does not become a target for the opposition.
Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde has also said that the criticism for Messi in the last few matches has been over the top.
“The thing is that Messi is asked to pull a rabbit out of the hat every game, when he is the most marked man of all, and that’s hard. He is not enjoying the form he had before, but he can unbalance a match at any time,” said the Bilbao manager. The 3-1 win over Real Betis is the only win Barcelona have got in the last five matches. Failure to win against Bilbao at home will effectively ended the slim title hopes that they have at the moment.