Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese professional football player who also plays for Juventus, says he has to win more Ballon d’Or awards before he retires.
This, he said, would ensure he retires as the greatest player of all time; ahead of Lionel Messi, an Argentine footballer who also plays for Barcelona.
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football, a French weekly magazine.
“Messi is a fantastic guy, a fantastic player. He’s in the history of football – but I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him,” he told Piers Morgan in an interview.
“I would love it and I think I deserve it. My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years.
“I have a good relationship with him and I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well
Both players have five Ballon d’Or awards each to their name, winning the award for 10 consecutive years before Real Madrid’s Luka Modric won it in 2018.
The Portuguese player has won five Champions League titles to Messi’s four.
While Messi has been with Barcelona since the beginning of his career, Ronaldo has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and is currently signed to Juventus.
“I’m sure I’m in the history of football for what I have done and what I’m continuing to do, but one of the best players in history,” Ronaldo continued.
“For me, the number one in history, but for some fans, if the number one is another one and I’m second, it doesn’t matter. I know I’m in the history of football as one of the greatest ever.”
It is common for fans to pit both players against one another to determine which is the greatest football player; a trend that has created a rivalry that has lasted over a decade with Nigerian football lovers calling their favourite of the duo ‘GOAT’ (greatest of all time).