Rafael Nadal reportedly has given a clever answer when asked who he would pick between soccer greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi before he admitted that he would love to see the Argentinean as a Real Madrid player.

As a kid, Nadal was passionate about two sports – soccer and tennis. At a very tender age, the Spaniard knew he wanted to take up tennis professionally but soccer has remained with him like a passion. To strengthen his love for the game further, his uncle, Miguel Nadal, was a professional soccer player. While Miguel played for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, the former World No. 1 tennis star went on to support Barca’s rivals, Real Madrid.

When Nadal is not playing tennis, he is often found in the stands of Santiago Bernabeu supporting the home side. He is also good friends with Ronaldo and the friendship blossomed when the Portuguese was part of the Spanish side.

During an interview a few years back, Nadal said he believed Messi is best for Barcelona, while Ronaldo was a perfect fit in Real Madrid.

“Messi is better than Cristiano for Barca and Cristiano is better than Messi for Real Madrid. We have to enjoy who probably are the best two players in the world and it is very fortunate that we have them in La Liga. I, as a Real Madrid fan, enjoy seeing Messi, even though he is not in my team and being lucky enough to see him every weekend, as it must be for Barcelona fans with Cristiano, but obviously, I’d like to have Messi in Madrid,” Nadal further added, as per Tennis World USA.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi of Barcelona conducts the ball next to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium, Dec. 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Ronaldo, who spent nine years in Madrid, moved to Juventus in Serie A ahead of the 2018-19 season. In 438 appearances for Real, across competitions, Ronaldo netted as many as 450 goals as he helped the La Liga side to win 15 trophies, including four Champions League titles. Even though Messi and Ronaldo now play in two different leagues, their rivalry and the debates to determine who the better of the two is still continue to take place.