Ronaldo downplays duel with Messi in ‘clasico’

Cristiano Ronaldo believes any attempt to reduce the ”clasico”

match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Monday night 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 matchup at Camp Nou featuring

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

Ronaldo has 14 league 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. Messi

has scored in nine consecutive games for Barcelona, 10 in a row

including his goal for Argentina that beat Brazil.

”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 no trophies in

the past two seasons compared to eight for Barcelona.

Madrid leads the league after 12 games, one point ahead of

Barcelona.