Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have perhaps the most famous rivalry in football history. Casillas believes it has affected CR7 in one way.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s rivalry with Lionel Messi over the years has only made him a better player, says Casillas.
The Juventus talisman recently missed out on the latest FIFA Best prize to Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. However, he did come out on top of the Barcelona captain in the pecking order at least.
Regardless, Ronaldo has claimed that prize on two occasions and also has five Ballons d’Or to his name.
Only a certain Lionel Messi can boast of a better record than Ronaldo in the above regard and that alone sums up their rivalry.
Over the years, both players have continued to make history books their own with multiple records being set and broken. Such is the debate that one of the hardest football questions remains who the better player between Messi and Ronaldo is.
One can say the rivalry and competition between both players brought out the best in them and Casillas agrees with that.
Having shared the dressing room with Ronaldo while at Real Madrid, the legendary goalkeeper explains how the Messi rivalry has benefited CR7 while adding on the longevity of the 35-year-old.
“Obviously he’s (Ronaldo) a good professional, he looks after himself, eats well, gives the necessary importance to rest also,” Casillas told The National.
“So this is just a result of being what a footballer is. Other than that, he’s also a great athlete. The reason is he’s always hungry and always wanting to improve and better himself.”
“Perhaps also his small rivalry with [Lionel] Messi has helped him better himself. But it’s basically down to his professionalism and ambition; that has taken him to the top of the footballing world.”
At the age of 35, Ronaldo has shown no signs of letting down. A tally of 79 goals in 101 appearances for Juventus since 2018 is the perfect example of that. Casillas hopes to see CR7 play for as long as possible.
“I hope he can continue to play for a very long time. But, of course, football and its nature is what it is.”
“We all know that everything must come to an end and time does go by for everyone. Hopefully we will be able to still enjoy his football for a long time, but it’s difficult to say.”