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Barcelona's Messi denies rivalry with Real Madrid's Ronaldo

Lionel Messi believes the World Cup and UEFA Champions League are the biggest tests, confirms Manchester United's Rooney has exceptional quality

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 11 Jun 2015
Barcelona
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) walks past Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, October 7, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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Ahead of the Copa America, Barcelona’s Argentinean star Lionel Messi has rubbished reports that he is in a rivalry with Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo, confirming media reports invented this saga between him and the Portuguese star.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the world player of the year awards since 2008, and are widely considered to be the world's best two players. Messi says this has caused the Spanish media claims that there is bad feeling between them.

The two stars have also repeatedly broken each other’s goal-scoring records in the Spain La Liga as well as in the UEFA Champions League.

"There is no rivalry. It’s something the media invented. We both want to do well for our clubs, it is not Messi vs Ronaldo, it never has been," Messi said during an interview with Shortlist ahead of Saturday's game against Paraguay in the Copa America.

The Argentine star also praised Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believing he is the British player would thrive in La Liga right now.

"As I mentioned, Rooney has exceptional quality. Not just great technical ability, but also works very hard for his team. I’m sure Manchester United will never want to let him leave, though," Messi said

The 27-year-old attacker hints at the importance of Spain’s Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Argentina vs. Brazil games as well as their effect on the soccer fans in the world.

"They (Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, Argentina vs. Brazil) are two of the biggest games in the world," Messi said.

"It isn’t just what it means to the players, but you can sense in the stadium; what it means to the fans."

The 2010, 2011 and 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, Messi revealed also that he eager to lift the World Cup as most of his teammates at Barcelona have done so already.

"Lifting the World Cup trophy is the ultimate goal in football, and it is still a dream I have."

"So many of my teammates at Barcelona have won it, and it is a dream to one day know what that feeling is like."

Messi also praised Barcelona’s great Brazilian star Ronaldinho, confirming he learned from his skills and tricks.

"When I walked into the Barca dressing room as a 16-year-old, he was the best player in the world," Messi said.

"He helped me settle; he is a great player but also a great guy. The way he played, Barcelona fans fell in love with him right away."

Argentina are scheduled to start their Copa America games on 11 June when they face Paraguay.

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