Pique: I admire Cristiano

Gerard Pique has admitted his respect for Cristiano Ronaldo and reflected that the Portuguese and Lionel Messi motivate each other.

The Real Madrid man is seen as in contention for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or alongside his Barcelona rival and Bayern’s Franck Ribery.

Ronaldo, who is in a purple patch of form right now, has received the acknowledgement of his former Manchester United teammate now on the other side of the Clasico divide.

“Cristiano as a teammate is a ‘10’,” Pique reflected on TV3 this week.

“[At Manchester United] when I arrived I spoke almost no English and he looked after me. I admire him professionally because he is an example to follow.

“Barcelona have the best player in the world and he has won the Golden Boot. We have to enjoy him.

“Now he is inured, but if you look at what he has done and what he has achieved, there is no doubt that he is the best.

“The momentum of Cristiano will see Messi become even more motivated.

“The showdown between Messi and Cristiano has made them both better.”

The defender was once more asked his opinion on the continued debate surrounding Barcelona’s style of play this term under Tata Martino.

“The debate over style is very broad. The discipline is just as rigid as before. It does not take 70 per cent possession to win. We cannot always play at that high level we have previously played at.

“We have a lot of strength in games and know how to deal with what is against us. We look to win every game and are playing well.

“The team that won six titles in a year is not the best Barca team but the best team in the history of football.”

Tags FIFA Ballon d'Or Messi Pique Ronaldo