Cristiano Ronaldo: Rivalry between Messi inspires both players

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo believes that he and Lionel Messi are motivated by the long-standing rivalry they have shared.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid star or his Barcelona foe have won every Ballon d’Or since 2008, with the Portugal international claiming his third last week to close in on the Argentine’s tally of four.

"I’m sure that the competition between us is a motivating factor for him too," he is quoted as saying by AS. "It’s good for me, for him and for other players who are keen to grow. Messi has four Ballon d’Or awards, I have three. This is all good for the world of football."

Ronaldo went on to say that he is currently working on improving his set pieces, having been less successful from dead ball situations of late.

"I’m currently trying to improve my left foot, my acceleration and my direct free kicks," Ronaldo said. "I’ve not had a great deal of success recently with them. I know that it will come back. It’s just a question of having enough humility to know that without training hard, things won’t progress.

"Working on my game is my guide. If I’m able to play more than 60 games per season, it’s because I look after myself. I sleep well, I eat well. In these ways I look for perfection too. If not, one can’t keep this rhythm of playing up."

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