Ronaldo Ballon d'Or 'scuffle' revealed by Dani Alves as ex-Barca star insists Messi is in 'another world' compared to long-time rival
- Alves talks Barca vs Real Madrid
- Reveals details of Ballon d'Or clash
- Says Messi is on another level
WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilian opened up on the "controversy" with the former Real Madrid superstar while speaking on a podcast with UNAM Pumas team-mate Efrian Valverde. Alves, who left Barca in the summer after a short second stint at the club, also spoke of his admiration for Ronaldo, but explained why he thinks his old team-mate Lionel Messi is on a different level to the Portugal international.
WHAT THEY SAID: "There came a time because of the rivalry that I would go over to greet him [Ronaldo] and he wouldn't greet me," he said. "There was a controversy that never came out, but in the dressing room of the Ballon d'Or ceremony we had a scuffle, I greeted everyone and he didn't greet me because of what the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry was generating outside. But how can I not respect a guy who has achieved everything based on hard work and putting his heart and soul into it?"
Alves added on Messi's unique talents: "He was born with the talent to play football and to be in another world that only he can reach."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo and Messi have dominated European football for over a decade, with the duo lifting 12 Ballons d'Or between them. Barca legend Messi has won the Golden Ball a record seven times, while Ronaldo has five to his name.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Messi's latest European goal for Paris Saint-Germain against Maccabi Haifa means he has scored against 39 teams in the Champions League, moving past Manchester United star Ronaldo for most opponents scored against in the competition.
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI & RONALDO? Messi is currently with the Argentina squad preparing for a friendly against Jamaica in the United States. Meanwhile, Ronaldo and Portugal are due to face Spain in the Nations League on Tuesday.