Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona legend Dani Alves has said that he can finally reveal his admiration for long time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, now that he is not plying his trade at the Catalan club. The Barca-Real Madrid rivalry has always been at its peak, but it was never so fierce when Ronaldo joined the Los Blancos in 2009. He then regularly clashed with his match, Lionel Messi who plied his trade with the Camp Nou outfit.

Dani Alves too had developed a stiff rivalry with the Portuguese forward, as they came up against each other every time during El Clasico, given they both shared the same flank of the pitch. While the right-back sometimes gave the Real forward a tough time, Ronaldo too had his days against the Brazilian. However, Alves has now acknowledged his praise for Cristiano, as he says he couldn’t talk about it due the two sides’ animosity.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Dani Alves has revealed his praise for Cristiano Ronaldo, also sharing a controversial incident with the former Real Madrid star. Credits: Twitter

Alves reveals his “Ballon d’Or scuffle” with Cristiano Ronaldo

While plying his trade at Barca, Alves suggested that even praising the Real players was a sin and that he never spoke highly of the 37-year-old forward. But now that he has left the Catalans, after a short, six-month second spell he has finally showered praise on Cristiano Ronaldo, who in his eight-year stint at Santiago Bernabeu became the club’s all-time top scorer with bagging 450 goals in 538 games.

Alves joined UNAM Pumas this summer, after his six-month contract which he penned with Barca back in January this year expired. The 38-year-old fared decently for the Catalans in his second stint, grabbing 4 assists and a goal in 17 appearances. With the Mexican side as well, he has started brightly fetching 4 assists in 12 games so far. Meanwhile, speaking on a podcast with his new teammate Efrian Valverde, the Brazilian talked about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, claiming that though the Portuguese has all his respect, Leo simply outranks him. Alves said:

“There came a time because of the rivalry that I would go over to greet him [Cristiano Ronaldo] and he wouldn’t greet me. There was a controversy that never came out, but in the dressing room of the Ballon d’Or ceremony we had a scuffle, I greeted everyone and he didn’t greet me because of what the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry was generating outside. But how can I not respect a guy who has achieved everything based on hard work and putting his heart and soul into it? [But] He [Lionel Messi] was born with the talent to play football and to be in another world that only he can reach.”

Cristiano Ronaldo
Despite his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo, Alves did make it clear that his former teammate Lionel Messi is the ultimate GOAT. Credits: Twitter

Alves was teammates with the seven-time Ballon d’Or for 8 years, where the two playing on the right flank toyed with the opponents to score goals for fun. The wing-back racked up 105 assists in 408 appearances across two different stints with the Catalans, where 42 of those were served for the Argentine. The two always shared a great connection and evidently enjoyed every single minute playing together.

Things have changed now as the unthinkable happened last summer, where both Ronaldo and Messi changed sides last summer. Ronaldo made a sensational return to Manchester United, and Messi left his beloved Barcelona to join PSG. The two had a underwhelming season last year, as despite their efforts United failed to qualify for the Champions League and PSG were once again ousted from the knockout stages of the competition.