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.