Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi refused to draw comparisons between himself and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the season’s second El Clasico which is due to be held next month.
The superhuman goalscoring feats of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the years have inevitably led to comparisons between the two players, but the Barcelona star insisted that he does not compare himself to his Portuguese counterpart — or indeed to any other footballer.
The Argentine claimed that it was the media who liked to make these comparisons and that his sole focus was on helping his team improve each season.
“The press looks to compare among other things. All I want is to help my team to grow each season,” Messi said to Egyptian TV station MBC [via Sport]. “I don’t compare myself to Cristiano nor to anyone. I only try to think of me, of my team-mates and win games.”
Ronaldo has shown no signs of letting up despite being on the wrong side of 30, registering 41 goals and 13 assists to far this season as compared to Messi’s 32 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. The Argentine did, however, spend two months on the sidelines in the first half of the season with a serious knee injury.
Barcelona have retained their status as the dominant force in Spain, with Luis Enrique’s men currently holding a ten-point lead over their arch rivals. The Catalans are in contention for an unprecedented back-to-back treble — a feat which, if they can achieve it, will only serve to grow Messi’s legend.
The inconsequential El Clasico?
With 10 points separating Barcelona and Real Madrid on the La Liga table, the upcoming El Clasico may not have any bearing on the league title. In fact, Barcelona’s closest challengers are Deigo Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who trail Luis Enrique’s men by nine points with eight matches to go. However, all that will be forgotten when the two arch rivals cross swords against each other yet again at the Camp Nou after the international break.
In their last meeting, Barcelona demolished Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu and the home side was roundly jeered by their own fans following the dismal performance. Seemingly unstoppable, the Catalans could inflict another big defeat on Real Madrid in the upcoming match.