Lionel Messi called his arch-nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo a predator, praising his goal-scoring run in Italy's Serie A. In his recent interview the Barcelona star said it is normal for Ronaldo to score in almost every game despite the fact the Portuguese player has recently turned 35, a respectable age in football, especially for strikers.
"It's normal that he continues to score, he is a predatory striker, he loves to score, any day he plays he will score", Messi told Mundo Deportivo.
Injuries have marred Ronaldo's second year with Juventus, and as a result, a small number of goals. But it seems his troubles are in the past, as he has scored 12 goals for Juventus in the last ten games. This brings the overall number of goals he netted this season to 20. One less than he scored during the last one.
For years Ronaldo and Messi competed against each other in Spanish La Liga, when the latter played for Real Madrid. Their rivalry captivated attention from millions of football fans across the world and sparked numerous debates over which of them deserve to be named GOAT (greatest of all time)more. Ronaldo's best season was in 2013 when the Portuguese striker netted 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal. Messi's best year was 2012 when he scored the mind-blowing number of 79 goals.
The Argentinian revealed that Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid had affected the Spanish giant. "Madrid has great players, but Cristiano scores 50 goals per season," he told Mundo Deportivo.
The 32-year-old has also opened up about his public feud with Barcelona's sporting director and former player Eric Abidal, saying he couldn't let his ex-teammate attack the Barcelona squad. During the interview, Messi said that he would love to see the former Barcelona striker Neymar on Camp Nou and noted that the Brazilian, who has been playing for French champions Paris Saint-German since 2017, is eager to join the Catalan club.
The superstar also commented on his future in Barcelona after rumours emerged that he may leave the club this summer due to recent internal scandals. Messi said he couldn't think of leaving Barca. The 32-year-old also touched on when he plans to hang up his boots.
"The reality is, as the years roll on, I don't know, but I feel good, better than in previous years, although I don't score many goals. Physically, when it comes to my legs, I feel good.", Messi told Mundo Deportivo.
Messi's comment about scoring not many goals seems an understatement. He netted 18 goals for Barcelona this season. The Catalan club has 15 games left in La Liga and at least 2 in the Champions League, so the 32-year-old still has plenty of time to compete with his arch-nemesis.
When asked by a reporter whether he could play on until he is 40, Messi replied: "We will see."