Cristiano Ronaldo Says He Believes He Is Better Than Lionel Messi

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2015

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during a Group A Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't believe trophies have any impact in deciding who's the best player in the world, proclaiming he's better than Barcelona superstar and Ballon d'Or rival Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer spoke to Spanish newspaper El Pais back in August, in an interview withheld until now to promote his upcoming documentary. Jesus Balseiro of AS translated his views on Messi's success:

It doesn’t bother me. If you look back over my past eight years, I’ve always been at the peak; and that is difficult. Name me someone else who has done it? After that, being No.1 or No.2 is a matter of small details, such as if you win trophies or not. Perhaps for you, Messi is the best; in my head, I am the best – and everyone should think that about ourselves. That is why I have been able to achieve so much in my career.

It was hard for me to watch Messi picking up several Ballon d’Ors. I’d be thinking: "Why should I go to the gala?"

It's well-founded that ego plays a large part in Ronaldo's appeal, and he would undoubtedly prefer if the football jury was unanimous in agreeing he's the best there's ever been—but that's far from being the case.

In fact, readers of Madrid-based newspaper Marca don't even think Ronaldo will make the top three in the race for this year's Ballon d'Or, with Barca trio Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez tipped to dominate the podium.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

That prediction would suggest trophies certainly have an influence in deciding who fans think is at the peak following on from the Blaugrana's European and domestic treble of 2014-15.

Barcelona may be thriving as a team, but Ronaldo has been proving himself with individual accolades of late. After surpassing Raul as Real Madrid's top scorer earlier this term, he's now honing in on another goal record, according to SportsCenter:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 233rd La Liga goal. He is 1 behind Mexican legend Hugo Sánchez for 3rd place on La Liga career scoring list.

Readers of course won't be shocked to hear Ronaldo speak so highly of his own talents. After all, that unwavering self-belief has no doubt armed the forward in his rise to the peak, even if some disagree with his opinion.

The Real talisman spoke to the Times' Matthew Syed recently in another boastful interview, where he confessed enemy attention only makes him a stronger player (via Marca):

I am not the humblest person in the world, I admit that. I am not fake. But in one way I am very humble. I like to learn.

I don't mind people hating me, because it pushes me. When I go to play away, they are always against me, but it's good. You have to see the good things from the haters. I need the enemy. It is part of the business. They start screaming when I touch the ball. It had started already when I was 18 or 19. It is not a problem for me.

Messi, on the other hand, is painted as a far more humble creature, one who prefers to stay out of the spotlight despite his quality on the pitch demanding he soak up attention wherever he plays.

The Mirror's Jacob Murtagh recently revealed a poll of 20 Brasilerao Serie A coaches were asked if they'd rather sign Messi or Ronaldo given the chance. Despite Brazil's historic rivalry with Argentina, Messi took 14 votes, while Ronaldo claimed just five, and Sport manager Falcao was undecided. 

Messi has been sidelined for much of the 2015-16 campaign, while Ronaldo has been permitted to further his bid for a fourth Ballon d'Or come January, but many will feel the former has done enough already to secure his win.

And yet such opinion won't rustle Ronaldo's feathers in the slightest. His documentary, Ronaldo, comes out on November 9 and will serve as but another testament to not only the image the world has of him, but the image he has of himself.

The three-time Ballon d'Or winner doesn't have time for talk of his supposed competition or superior talents, and he doesn't need another World's Best Player gong to keep believing what he knows to be the truth.


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