In a podcast with his Pumas teammate Efrio Velarde, Brazilian legend Dani Alves spoke about many things, and among the talking points, the former Barcelona right-back spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo — a man he had plenty of heated and competitive duels with in many Clasicos over the years.
“I love Cristiano,” Alves said of the former Real Madrid attacker. “Now that we are no longer at Barça and Madrid I can speak, because it always seemed like I couldn’t. Cristiano exemplifies, for all of us who don’t have that much quality, that with hard work you can also compete against the best. I respect him a lot and I had the opportunity to tell him.
“There came a time because of the rivalry that I went up to greet him and he didn’t greet me. There was a controversy that never came out, but in the Ballon d’Or dressing room we had a ‘scuffle’ , I greeted everyone and he didn’t greet me because of what Barça-Madrid was generating outside,“
Alves also spoke about what he feels is the difference between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and that he identifies with Ronaldo more.
“How can I not respect a guy who got everything based on work? I identify with him, because everything I did in my life was based on that,” Alves explained. “If you made a comparison, as a player, I am closer to Cristiano than to Leo because of the work, not because of the talent, because Leo is a born talent, who was born with the talent to play football and to be in another world that only he achieves,”