Cristiano Ronaldo believes that playing in the same league as Lionel Messi drove him on to becoming a better player, something that was also true for the Argentine.
The two led their respective sides of the Clasico rivalry from Ronaldo’s 2009 arrival in LaLiga Santander until he left in 2018.
“A lot of people said that we fed each other, that being together in Spain made us better,” the No.7 said to France Football.
“That’s certainly true, I felt his presence more in Madrid than in Manchester.
“It was a healthy rivalry. We were the symbols of our clubs.
“I think he said recently that he missed me on a competitive level.”
It’s no secret that the Portuguese is driven on by his desire to go down as the greatest player of all time, but he says that he’ll stop thinking about that once he’s hung up his boots.
“It’s always nice to be spoken of in a flattering way,” he continued.
“It’s nice if they say I’ve been the best, a fantastic player.
“Today I hear everything they say about me, but when it’s all over, at the end of my career, I won’t mind because I’ll disconnect from everything.”
Continuing on the theme of motivation, Ronaldo confessed that he’s more switched on in the Champions League and while playing for Portugal.
“If it were up to me, I’d only play important games,” he said. “Those of the national team and the Champions League.
“It’s these types of games that motivate me, those with everything at stake.
“But you have to be professional and honour your family and the club who pay you.
“You have to do your best every day.”