Lionel Messi has described Cristiano Ronaldo’s form this season as ‘impressive’ despite the pair’s past rivalry and Manchester United’s current struggles.
Messi and Ronaldo faced off over the course of a decade as they aimed to collect La Ligas and Champions Leagues for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
The pair currently have eleven Ballon d’Or awards between them and are in the running for the 2021 edition that will be decided shortly, though both their chances may have waned after their summer moves.
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Messi surprised the world of football when he switched to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after difficulties re-signing for Barcelona, while Ronaldo moved on from Juventus to return to Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old Portuguese international has nine goals since his return to the Premier League, while Messi grabbed his first league goal for PSG this weekend in a match-winning performance against Nantes.
"Time has passed since we competed in the same league,” Messi said, looking back on the games between Real and the Catalans.
"We not only competed on an individual level but also on a team level for the same aims.
It was a very beautiful stage for us and for people because they enjoyed it very much. It's a beautiful memory that will remain in football history.
"United are a very strong team with great players.
“Cristiano already knew the club, but that was at 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.
“In the Premier League, it 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.
After December it changes a lot and anything can happen.
United have now sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager, with Messi’s current coach Mauricio Pochettino in the running to replace him. Ronaldo’s former boss from his days at Real, Zinedine Zidane, is seen as the favourite to take over in Paris.
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