Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Lionel Messi in tribute to great rival Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi has paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo's recent form – and stated his intention to remain with Barcelona.

The pair are widely regarded as the two best players in the world and while Messi collected his second Golden Shoe in a row on Wednesday after bagging 46 goals last season, it is Ronaldo who has been making the headlines recently.

The Real Madrid forward has scored hat-tricks in his last two matches at the Bernabeu and bagged an important treble to seal Portugal's place at next year's World Cup in their victory over Sweden in the play-offs.

Despite the two vying for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award, Messi had words of praise.

"He is always there scoring goals in all the games," said Messi, who is sidelined for eight weeks with a hamstring tear.

Messi added: "My intention is to stay with Barcelona for good."

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