Cristiano Ronaldo has called on journalists to stop comparing him to Lionel Messi, saying they are both their own players and share 'mutual respect'.
The Portuguese star admitted comparisons were inevitable due to both the personal success that each player has enjoyed alongside the fact they play for two rival teams, but he believes sometimes the comparisons go too far.
"Cristiano is Cristiano and Messi is Messi," Ronaldo told reporters after Chinese publication Dongqiudi named him their 2016 best player.
"We are both great players with individual and team titles that speak for themselves. The comparison? I don't like to compare, that word doesn't exist for me. We are different, two people just doing their jobs, that is all.
"He tries to be the best player for his team and I try to do the same for mine. We are rivals because we play for different clubs, but when we are together we show each other mutual respect. We have a normal relationship.
"People compare us all that time, that is normal. People even compared our sons when they were born and talk about who is the fastest and smartest at school. This is all part of the business. But I think that you can't compare these things."