Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo possibly surprised the sporting world on Tuesday night just before the kick off of the Barcelona versus Juventus Champions League clash.
The two players, undoubtedly the highest profiled of their respective clubs exchanged pleasantries and shared hugs just before the kickoff. It was a surprise as rivals of different clubs always choose after match to greet.
The pair have been at the centre of a great debate over a decade now on who should be considered as the best footballer of the current generation. In between them, they have lifted the Ballon D’Or trophy 11 times.
The rivalry was further fueled by the fact that both played on either side of the fierce La Liga rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Ronaldo has since 2018 left Real Madrid for Italian side, Juventus. So when Barcelona hosted Juventus on Tuesday, it was the first meeting of Messi and Ronaldo in a 3-0 triumph by the Italian side.
Both smiled as they greeted each other on the pitch, and Ronaldo, according to Daily Mail of Britain, stated that any relationship between the pair has always been cordial.
There has been plenty of speculation over their rivalry down the years, with Ronaldo denying accusations that he referred to the Argentine as a ‘motherf*****’ behind his back.
He has previously admitted that there is no relationship between the pair off of the pitch, but he insisted on Tuesday evening that their relationship has always been in a good place.
‘We’ve been in the awards ceremonies for 12-13 years now and I never saw him as a rival, that’s all stirred up in the media,’ Ronaldo said – as per Football Espana.
‘We always got along perfectly well and if you ask Leo, he’ll tell you the same thing.’
The 3-0 victory meant the Serie A side pipped Messi’s side to top spot in Champions League Group G.
It is a massive boost to boss Andrea Pirlo, who finally appears to be finding his feet with his side after a stumbling start to life in charge of the Italian champions.
‘This victory is going to be such a confidence-booster, we needed a win like this against a big team,’ added Ronaldo.
‘When you score three goals at Camp Nou, there can be no doubt you deserve to go through as the group winners.’