Paris, Oct 13 (IANS) French football legend Zinedine Zidane has voiced his admiration for Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that he believes the rivalry with Barcelona ace marksman Lionel Messi only encourages the Portuguese to get the best out of himself.

Ronaldo and Messi are widely regarded as the best players in the world of the decade and have won seven ‘World Footballer of the Year’ awards between them, with the Argentine winning the prestigious Ballons d’Or trophy on four occasions and the Real forward taking the award home three times.

Zidane has hailed Ronaldo’s attitude on the training pitch and feels the 30-year-old has developed into a true Madrid legend over the years. “You have to see Ronaldo on the training pitch. It is simply amazing to see him in action. The rivalry with Messi is only pushing him to get the best out of himself,”

43-year-old Zidane, the 1998 World Cup winner, was quoted as saying by French television channel Canal+ on Monday. “Ever since Raul (Gonzalez) has left Madrid, Ronaldo has gone on to develop into another club legend. He is feeling very well at Real Madrid,” Zidane, considered one of the best central midfielders in the game during his stints with Italian champions Juventus (1996-2001) and Real (2001-2006), added.

Ronaldo recently scored a brace for Real in their 2-0 win over Malmo to equal legend Raul as the Santiago Bernabeu side’s all-time top goal scorer on 323 strikes.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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