Barcelona star player, Lionel Messi has stated that Cristiano Ronaldo is one biggest names in world sport, insisting the Portuguese icon is someone who stands out in the world of football.
The question on who is best between Messi and Ronaldo has raged in recent times but the Argentine superstar himself admitted his respect for the Juventus attacker.
Messi revealed he sees Ronaldo alongside other sport superstars in their chosen craft – likening him to Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and LeBron James.
“There are many admirable athletes. Rafa Nadal, Federer, LeBron – in all sports there is always someone who stands out and is admirable for his work,” Messi told La Sexta.
“Cristiano stands out in football. There are many who stand out and always do their best.”
Despite Messi revealing his admiration for several sporting figures in world sport, the 33-year-old said that his children invoke more passion in him than anyone else.
He explained he managed to suppress “the fan inside” when he became a senior player at Camp Nou.
“When I started to be a professional, I managed to put aside my passion as a football supporter,” Messi said. “Those who make me get up from the couch are my children. They are what move me the most today.”
Messi has been linked with a transfer to the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season after handing in a transfer request to Barcelona’s hierarchy during the recent summer.
The attacker decided to stay at Camp Nou after much deliberation and hinted that he could still remain at the club next campaign.
“I’m sorry about everything. I always said it. Barcelona is my life. I’ve been here since I was 13 years old,” Messi said.
“Well, the truth is that today I’m fine, it’s true that I had a very bad time over the summer because of how the season ended.”
Barcelona have struggled for consistency under Ronald Koeman, as they sit in fifth place in the La Liga standings, eight points behind Atletico but having played one extra game.
Their next league fixture comes against Eibar at home on December 29.