Brazilian striker Ronaldo has reflected on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or challenge against Lionel Messi, but says things were harder in his day.
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo has seen his Barcelona rival Messi win the last four Ballon d’Or trophies consecutively, but he only has minimal sympathy from his namesake.
The retired star, who represented both Madrid and Barca during his career, won the prize twice himself during a time that he felt competition was greater.
“Both of them are very, very good. They are better than everyone else, but in my opinion, Messi is a little better,” began Ronaldo to Marca this week in comparing Cristiano to Messi.
“It must be frustrating to be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and have a player in your generation like Messi, who wins the Ballon d'Or every year.
“In my time, there was more of a fight, more competition. I had Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Figo.
“And Owen and Cannavaro won against them. There was much more of a fight before.”
Ronaldo’s former clubs both prepare this week for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
“Bayern Munich are also proving that it is a spectacular team this season. The Germans are tough and solid – one of the great teams, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
“I expect the final will be between Real Madrid and Barcelona. I'd go with Madrid.”