Ronaldo downplays duel with Messi in ‘clasico’

Cristiano Ronaldo believes any attempt to reduce the ”clasico”

match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Monday to a personal

duel with Lionel Messi would be ”foolishness.”

The Portugal forward leads Messi by one goal in the Spanish

league scoring list heading into the clash featuring the top two

teams and the past two FIFA world players of the year.

Ronaldo has 14 goals to 13 for Messi, who has 25 in 20

appearances for club and country this season. Ronaldo has 20 in

22.

”To talk about a duel between me and Messi is foolishness,”

Ronaldo said Saturday from the Spanish club’s training ground.

”It’s a duel between the two best teams in Spain. Messi, like me,

will try to do his most to help his team win.

”I’m just another player in this team. Things are working out

well, as much for me as the team, but I don’t feel any more

pressure than the rest. We all have our responsibilities.”

Ronaldo has never scored against Barcelona in five meetings,

while Messi has seven goals in eight matches against Madrid.

”I’m not obsessed with goals. I don’t obsess about scoring

against Barca,” Ronaldo said. ”I want to score against everybody,

not just Barca, and I try to do my best against everyone. Sure it

would be special, but my motivation is the same with all.”

The highly anticipated match will be the first between the teams

since Jose Mourinho took charge of Madrid, which has zero trophies

in the past two seasons compared to eight for Barcelona.

However, Madrid holds a one-point lead over Barcelona on top of

the standings after 12 rounds.