Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi exchange pleasantries before kick-off

Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he never saw Lionel Messi as a rival.

The Portuguese star stated this again after Juventus brushed past Barcelona in the Champions League with a superb 3-0 win on Tuesday night, December 8.

Ronaldo scored twice as the result ensured Juventus claim the top spot in Group G.

While Ronaldo made the headline for a good showing, Messi made 11 shots, including seven on target, but couldn’t score.

However, Ronaldo, who shared a brief embrace with Messi before the Tuesday night clash, said there was no rivalry between the two all-time greats.

“I have always had a very cordial relationship with him,” the Juve star told Movistar on Tuesday night.

“I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him. I never saw him as a rival.

“He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him.

“But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always.”

“Barcelona are going through a difficult time, but it is still Barcelona,” Ronaldo added.

“The truth is that we are very happy, we knew it was an almost impossible mission, it was a complicated mission and we played well.

“The key was to get into the game well, we scored two early and from there we believed it was possible.”