Cristiano Ronaldo declares the end of his rivalry with Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo says that his era-defining rivalry with Lionel Messi is at an end.

Messi, Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo says that his rivalry with Lionel Messi is over.

The pair are regarded as two of the greatest footballers in history and clashed in La Liga with Real Madrid and Barcelona for several years but Ronaldo feels that the sense of competition between the pair has cooled now they are no longer representing European clubs.

When asked if hatred was a feature of his rivalry with Inter Miami's Messi, the Al-Nassr player said: "Those who like Cristiano Ronaldo don't have to hate Messi. I don't see the rivalry like that.

"The rivalry is gone. It was good, the spectators liked it. We shared the stage for 15 years and ended up being, I'm not saying friends, but we are professional colleagues and we respect each other."

Ronaldo added: "We are respected all over the world, that's the most important thing.

"He makes his way, I make mine. He's done well, from what I've seen. It's about continuing, the legacy continues."

Ronaldo made more football history as he became the first player to have scored 850 goals when he netted in Al-Nassr's win over Al-Hazem last weekend.

The Portugal international said: "It's a historic landmark. For me it was a source of pride the numbers I achieved, which I didn't think I could reach.

"But I want more. While playing the game, the bar has to be high, thinking big."

Ronaldo has led an influx of top footballers to the Saudi Pro League and is proud to be a "pioneer" for the game in Saudi Arabia.

He said: "For me, it was a great privilege to change the culture of a country in terms of football and to have great stars go to Saudi Arabia.

"I was the pioneer, and I am proud of it. What I want most is to continue to always evolve, so that [the league] is top notch."

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