Cristiano Ronaldo believes the rivalry between him and Lionel Messi is similar to the one seen in Formula One between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Ronaldo and Messi have ensured a duopoly of football’s individual accolades for more than a decade.
That has largely been down to the huge amounts of success they’ve experienced, primarily at club level.
The debate about who betters who is the pantheon of greats has long ensued, but Ronaldo concedes he wouldn’t be the player he is without Messi’s presence.
He referenced similar dynamics seen in the late 1980s and early 1990s between two of motorsport’s greats – Senna and Prost.
“I have no doubt that he makes me a better player and I do the same to him,” said the Juventus star.
“It’s not something random. Its not just football.
“It is like basketball with Michael Jordan, in Formula One between Senna and Prost.”
The two were team-mates at McLaren for two seasons before the tension in the team boiled over and Prost left for Ferrari in 1990.
Senna and Prost won seven of the nine World Championships from 1985 to 1993 before the former’s death at Imola.
Ronaldo and Messi certainly enjoy more of an affection for each other than Senna and Prost did.
Between them they share they share the majority of records world football has to offer.
Ronaldo and Messi have enjoyed an intense rivalry since rising to the top of the sport over a decade ago (Image: GETTY)
Ronaldo’s recent flurry of Champions League titles means he holds the joint most record for wins in the competition with five.
Messi meanwhile, having spent his whole career at Barcelona, holds records for goals and assists in Spain.
The two did battle for the same league title for nine years following Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid in 2009 – the Portuguese picking up just two league titles while Messi won six.
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