KEY POINTS

  • Lionel Messi talks about Cristiano Ronaldo in a rare interview
  • Messi is not writing off Manchester United this season
  • The Argentine says he has now fully adapted at PSG

Lionel Messi has always been aware of what Cristiano Ronaldo is capable of inside the pitch.

For more than a decade now, football has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo. A wide array of exceptional players has emerged, but one way or another, the conversation will ultimately lead to the pair.

As it stands, it has been quite a while since Messi and Ronaldo weighed in on one another’s game.

Fortunately, the Paris Saint-Germain star recently delighted their fans with a rare and bold comment about his archrival.

In an exclusive interview with Marca, Messi shockingly commended Ronaldo for being able to adapt to the English Premier League in an “impressive way.”

“[Manchester] United are a very strong team with great players,” Messi assessed, “Cristiano [Ronaldo] already knew the club, but that was in another stage and now he has adapted in an impressive way. From the beginning, he has scored goals as always and had no problems adapting.”

Messi and Ronaldo have had an array of epic battles in La Liga, especially during the league’s “El Clasico” matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

When quizzed about his thoughts on the said face-offs with his contemporary, Messi acknowledged that those matches will “remain in the history” of the sport forever.

“It's been a long time since we [me and Ronaldo] stopped competing in the same league,” the 34-year-old said. “We competed individually and as a team for the same goals. It was a very beautiful period for us and also for the fans because they enjoyed it very much. It is a beautiful memory that will remain in the history of football.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have vied for the title of the world's best player for the past seven years. Photo: Reuters

Manchester United had just gone through a disastrous run that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting sacked as the club manager.

For Messi, it is not yet time to write the Red Devils off as “things take a lot of turns” in the Premier League.

“In the Premier League, [Manchester United] is not as good as we all thought, but it is a very difficult and even competition in which things take a lot of turns,” the Argentine said. “After December it changes a lot and anything can happen.”

Both Messi and Ronaldo parted ways with their clubs this past summer. The latter was quick to make an impact in his return to Manchester United, while the former struggled a bit in his first few games with PSG.

However, Messi stressed that he has now “fully adapted” and “settled down well” in Paris.