Revealed: Cristiano Ronaldo's obscene nickname for Lionel Messi in the Real Madrid dressing room
For as long as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in competition their relationship will be marked by their battle for the same space, that small, distant space in which the truly greats live. But how do they get on? What do they say to each other when they meet? And when they are not in the spotlight?
Conversation does not usually go beyond "hello, how are you, everything okay?" At public events, Messi is always surrounded by his own crew, or with Xavi and Iniesta, whereas Ronaldo usually shows up on his own, even though mixing with people he does not know intimidates him.
He felt danger. He could visualise everything. Cristiano would be free in January 2015 and then any club, Barcelona included, would be able to sign him without negotiating with Real Madrid."
Messi admires Cristiano’s shooting and heading ability but is tired of comparisons between the two of them. He understands that Ronaldo is not comfortable about it either, and has watched without the slightest pleasure his supposed arch-enemy responding with anger to the public pestering from those who like to see them fighting. Ronaldo, who will take part in a commercial with Leo for the first time to promote the Google Nexus 11 tablet, does not think that they can be compared: "Messi and I are as different as Ferrari and Porsche."
Ronaldo, perhaps as a symptom of the immaturity that marks so many footballers, thinks it necessary to put on a brave face in front of his team-mates, not be scared of Messi and to rise to the challenge. All very macho; all very false.
And that is why, according to some Real Madrid players, CR7 has a nickname for him: ‘motherf----r’; and if he sees someone from the club speaking to Leo, he also ends up being baptised ‘motherf----r’.
In that environment, Ronaldo usually compares their relationship with that between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. And the Madrid players, with their less than subtle dressing-room sense of humour, have a long list of jokes that include Messi as Ronaldo’s dog or puppet, or kept in a designer handbag belonging to the Portuguese player. And much worse.
Ronaldo fits the Real Madrid business plan and their search for galácticos. Messi fits the more romantic image that Barcelona portrays.
That is why Barça cannot imagine selling their flagship footballer: if the club behaved like a business, Leo would be sold at his peak, when the highest transfer fee could be obtained. If a romantic idea is followed, Messi will not be allowed to leave until he decides to go to Newell’s, on his last legs.
- Ronaldo, on Tuesday, denied Balague's claims and said on his Facebook page: "I have the utmost respect for all my professional colleagues, and Messi is obviously no exception."