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Barcelona Boss Xavi Explains How Cristiano Ronaldo Made Leo Messi ‘A Better Player’
- Xavi Hernandez believes the long-standing competition between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi gave the latter an extra push
- The duo boast countless records between them including a combined 12 Ballon d'Or with Messi winning seven while Ronaldo's Golden Ball count stands at five
- The Messi-Ronaldo comparison has lingered even in the twilight of their careers, with opinions on who is the better among the two sharply divided
FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez claims Cristiano Ronaldo has made Lionel Messi a better player during the rivalry that delivered 12 Ballon d’Or among the duo.
Xavi, who played alongside Messi at Camp Nou, opines that the long-running battle for supremacy between the pair helped to raise the levels of the all-time greats.
The fierce rivals competed against each other at the height of their powers between 2009 and 2018, winning trophies on regular basis, and dominating the Ballon d'Or awards while records tumbled in their presence.
Reviewing arguably the greatest football rivalry in the history of the sport, Xavi reckons the intense battle between the duo helped to push each other to greater heights, particularly Messi.
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The 42-year-old coach told the BBC documentary ‘Messi: The Enigma’ about his insight into one of the greatest rivalries in sport.
“Cristiano gave him an extra push to become a better player. Cristiano and Leo probably won't admit it. I am convinced they used to keep an eye on each other. If you're competitive, you want to be the best,” he said as quoted by GOAL.
While Messi continues to enjoy a rejuvenated campaign on the back of an underwhelming first season with PSG, Ronaldo is enduring a tough time at United with the Portuguese axed from the team to face Chelsea on Saturday, October 22.
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Ronaldo beats Messi to top honour
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten the world's top sporting personalities to be named the most marketable athlete on the planet.
The Manchester United icon is widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, thanks to his football achievements during his illustrious career of more than 20 years.
The veteran striker has thus far lifted seven league titles across the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, as well as five Champions Leagues and Euro 2016.