International Soccer

Gerard Pique reveals Lionel Messi’s thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry

Gerard Pique has insisted ex-Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi ‘did not care’ about the rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo while at the peak of his powers at Camp Nou.

The Messi vs Ronaldo debate dominated football media for the best part of 15 years while the two were thriving at El Clasico rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid. Throughout the pair’s storied careers, Messi and Ronaldo combined to win a staggering 13 Ballons d’Or and four UEFA Champions Leagues.

While both are widely considered two of the top ten greatest footballers of all time, to many, Messi solidified his number one placing in those rankings by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina – a feat Ronaldo has failed to achieve with Portugal.

Speaking in an interview with TalkSPORT, Messi’s former teammate Pique gave an insight into the legendary forward’s perception of the rivalry, insisting that he was solely focused on winning with the team rather than competing with Ronaldo for individual prizes.

Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique

Pique played with both Messi and Ronaldo / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

“Did Messi care about Cristiano Ronaldo? No, he was not that type of guy,” said Pique. “He was focused on the team. Even when he was on always on the front page radio, TV, he was only focused on winning trophies for the team.

“At the end of the day, because he was the best then, he was winning the Ballon d’Or. But it was not on his priority.”

Having also played alongside Ronaldo briefly during his time at Manchester United, Pique also gave an insight into the Portuguese legend’s mindset: “He started as a winger at Manchester United, he was very skilful then when he moved to Madrid, he started to become a goalscorer, like a pure nine.”

“At United when I played with him, he loved to do trick and was very skilful. But I assumed that he realised that at Real Madrid, if you want to be the best, you have to score a lot of goals.”

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