• Dani Alves has had two stints with FC Barcelona
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Ors
  • Lionel Messi holds the record with seven trophies

Brazil defender Dani Alves reveals he once had a "scuffle" with Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at FC Barcelona.

Ronaldo and Alves had an intense rivalry in Spain as they came face to face several times when they were at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

In a recent interview, Alves, who currently plays in Mexico, opened up about a "controversy" involving him and Ronaldo, who was with Real Madrid at the time.

"There came a time because of the rivalry that I would go over to greet him [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," said Alves, according to

"But how can I not respect a guy who has achieved everything based on hard work and putting his heart and soul into it?" added Alves.

However, Alves still respects Ronaldo, with whom he could relate more than his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.

"If you made a comparison, as a player, I am closer to Cristiano than to Leo because of the work, not because of the talent, because Leo is a born talent, who was born with the talent to play football and to be in another world that only he achieves," Alves said on a podcast, reported talkSport.

Now that they are not in Spain anymore, the Brazilian right-back feels free to speak about his admiration for the five-time Ballon d'Or.

"I love Cristiano. Now that we are no longer at Barca and Madrid I can speak, because it always seemed like I couldn't. Cristiano exemplifies, for all of us who don't have that much quality, that with hard work you can also compete against the best. I respect him a lot and I had the opportunity to tell him," the 39-year-old defender added.

Messi and Ronaldo are currently on national duties with Argentina and Portugal respectively. The Argentinean skipper netted a brace in his side's 3-0 win over Honduras on Friday. Ronaldo did not score in Portugal's 4-0 win in the Nations League over the Czech Republic.

Argentina striker Lionel Messi (R) shakes hands with Portugal's striker Cristiano Ronaldo (L) ahead of kick off of the international friendly football match between the Argentina and Portugal. Getty

These two legends have dominated European soccer for over a decade. Messi's latest European goal for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against Maccabi Haifa means he has now scored against 39 teams in the Champions League, one more than arch-rival Ronaldo.

The Manchester United star will have to wait to take the lead again as he is competing in the Europa League, the second-tier European competition, this season.