Paulo Dybala says he told Cristiano Ronaldo he 'hated him' with ex-Juventus star 'always on Lionel Messi's side' in GOAT debate
- Dybala and CR7 spent three seasons together at Juve
- Argentine admitted to "hating him as a kid"
- But sides with compatriot Messi in GOAT debate
WHAT HAPPENED? The attacking duo spent three seasons together before the Portuguese's dramatic return to Manchester United in the summer of 2021, celebrating two Serie A titles and a handful of domestic cups in that time. But to star alongside one of the greatest players of all time at club level was still a strange sensation for Dybala - whose loyalties in that debate are clearly in favour of his national hero - as he jokingly informed Ronaldo once on a team flight.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Reflecting to presenter Diletta Leotta on DAZN's 'Scacco Capitale', the Argentine revealed: "It was three good years with Cristiano, the team was strong and he gave us something extra. The rivalry between him and [Lionel] Messi is deeply felt in Argentina and as a child, of course, I was always on Messi's side. One time we were on a plane to go play a game, I was at the back and he was sitting further forward. At one point he came to me to talk about football and other things. We used to discuss our lives in general and so I said to him 'I basically hated you as a kid'. We had some laughs. We've always had a good relationship, a good dialogue."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Ronaldo parted ways with Juve back in 2021, Dybala did the same a year later, leaving for the Italian capital to join Jose Mourinho's Roma. Despite some fitness issues, the 29-year-old has still posted an impressive 25 goal contributions in 34 matches this campaign, and has helped lift the Giallorossi within goal difference of Champions League contention and all the way to the Europa League semi-finals.
Speaking on his decision to join the capital club, Dybala continued: "The story begins a bit here at the Colosseum. As a child, I watched many films about Rome and the gladiators. I must have seen the film 'Gladiator' more or less twenty times. When Tiago Pinto contacted us, these things came to mind. I said to myself 'I have to do something in this city'".
AND WHAT'S MORE: Mourinho is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in Rome, and Dybala added that the Portuguese was crucial in getting him to join: "Mourinho has an image and an important power for what he represents in the world of football. He would be a good chess player. Before arriving in Roma we spoke twice, he is very good at 'getting inside someone'. I have felt a special feeling: finding someone who speaks sincerely in the world of football is difficult."
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WHAT NEXT FOR DYBALA? Thanks to the re-introduction of Juventus' 15 points in the league, Roma currently sit fifth with seven matches remaining. The Argentine will hope to feature in their next test, which comes at home to fellow European hopefuls Milan on Saturday.