Dani Alves has declared that Cristiano Ronaldo “is a phenomenon”, explaining “I’m like Conor McGregor” in not praising rivals before facing them.
Alves and Ronaldo have had their tiffs over the years, from the former Barcelona right-back stating he did not admire the Real Madrid star to the latter reportedly refusing to acknowledge his old foe at a Ballon d’Or gala two years ago.
“Sometimes, words are twisted and don’t reach people in their intended way,” the Juventus man told AS.
“Do they think I’m an idiot or mentally ill? I’m not. Do they think I don’t know that Cristiano is a phenomenon? He is, but I think Messi has a little more influence on the game. Still, that doesn’t detract from Cristiano.
“I’m like [UFC fighter] Conor McGregor. Before going to battle, I won’t say that he’s a phenomenon. It’s part of the game.
“How to stop a player of his level, while respecting the rules? I’ve also taken elbows from him.
“But it’s part of the game. I’m not going to cry about it. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch.”