Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi 'hate' each other

The two soccer superstars never loved each other

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi 'hate' each other
© Matthias Hangst / Staff Getty Images Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi can be considered the two greatest soccer players of our generation and, despite having achieved countless successes during their careers, there has always been a rivalry between them. Many have wondered why these two champions have never tolerated each other, despite their unparalleled football talents.

One of the main reasons for this rivalry can be attributed to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated world football for the last 15 years. Both have won numerous titles and set impressive records, and as a result, have been constantly compared to each other.

This constant comparison has provided fertile ground for a rivalry, fueling a sort of competition not only on the pitch but also among the fans. Furthermore, these two footballers come from different cultural backgrounds. Ronaldo is Portuguese and began his career in Portugal before moving to England with Manchester United, then arriving in Spain with Real Madrid and finally moving to Italy to play for Juventus, before first returning to Manchester United and then to South Arabia.

Messi, on the other hand, is Argentinian and spent most of his career at Barcelona, before going to PSG and Inter Miami. This cultural difference may have influenced their approach towards football and their personalities. Differences in playing style are another factor that could explain the rivalry between the two.

Ronaldo is known for his physical strength, his ability in the air and a powerful shot. Messi, on the other hand, is more technically skilled, with crazy dribbling and incredible agility. These differences in playing style may have contributed to a sense of rivalry on the pitch and a sort of direct competition between the two.

Finally, we cannot ignore the fact that both Ronaldo and Messi are strongly rivaled for the prestigious Ballon d'Or, the annual award for the best football player in the world. To date, Ronaldo has won the award five times, while Messi has won it 8 times, most recently in 2023.

This constant competition for the title of best player may have further fueled the rivalry between them. Despite these differences and contrasts, it is important to underline that Ronaldo and Messi have always maintained mutual respect.

Both have publicly acknowledged each other's incredible football skills and expressed admiration for their work. There is no doubt that they are two extraordinary players who made football more fascinating and are destined to be remembered as legends of our sport.

Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi