Cristiano Ronaldo Says He and Rival Leo Messi Have a 'Good Relationship'

Joe GallagherFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2016

(From L) FC Barcelona and Argentina's forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid and Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo give a press conference ahead of the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 11, 2016.   AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN / AFP / OLIVIER MORIN        (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite having one of the fiercest on-field rivalries in football, Cristiano Ronaldo insists that he and Lionel Messi enjoy a "good relationship."

The Real Madrid man was speaking after his side's 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon on Sunday and revealed that he and the Argentinian have grown closer in recent years.

Portugal's Ronaldo and his Barcelona rival have been vying for individual and team honours for the best part of a decade, most recently for the 2015 Ballon d'Or, which Messi won.

"We have become closer, we have always enjoyed a good relationship but perhaps in the last few years it has become a little closer," Ronaldo told media (via's Daniel Edwards).

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (DOWN)  and Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo walk on the field during the 'clasico' Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 2

He joked that he expected compensation for any translation services he provided at last week's Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich, where he shared the limelight with Messi and third-placed Neymar.

"When we were up there on the stage neither Messi nor Neymar speaks English, and I was their translator," Ronaldo said. "I spoke with them later and told them not to forget to pay me later for the translation!"

The two will not square off on the football field until April, when the Camp Nou hosts the next Clasico.