Pele gives his verdict on Lionel Messi Vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate
Having dominated the world footballer of the year selection over the past eight years and widely regarded as the two best players of the current generation, Ronaldo said they respect each other but can't be termed friends.
"There is a big mutual respect between myself and Messi," the 31-year-old told Coach Magazine, as quoted by goal.com on Thursday (Oct 27).
"The media like to make out like we have this big rivalry, but we don't. It is not like we are good friends, but there is a mutual respect on both sides."
On his first visit to India, Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry said recently that this year also the prestigious award would decided between the two "abnormal footballers" and that he hasn't seen players of such high calibre in his lifetime.
"They are abnormal footballers. I have not seen players like them have you? I think the Ballon d'Or will again be between the two of them. (Antoinne) Griezmann and (Gareth) Bale are the other contenders."
Messi has won the award five times, Ronaldo thrice. No one has won the prestigious prize other than the two since 2008.