Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi photographed in a Louis Vuitton ad playing chess.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed that he would like to be “the player who tells Messi checkmate” on the sidelines of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, in which the two eternal rivals are looking for a first world title with their countries.
Ronaldo, who made his senior debut in 2003, is the all-time leading scorer in international football with 117 goals in 191 appearances.
He recently appeared in a glamorous ad for Louis Vuitton alongside long-time rival Lionel Messi, in which the pair were photographed playing chess.
He said with a smile: “I would like to be the player who tells Messi checkmate. It happened in chess and in football, it will be amazing.”
Argentine Messi, the Paris Saint-Germain striker, won the Ballon d’Or seven times and is considered by many to be the best player in football history.
Ronaldo commented: “Even if I win the World Cup, this controversy will continue. Some people like me more, others like me less, as is the case in life, some like blondes and some like brunettes. The World Cup will always be appropriate for that.
He added, “But if you tell me that I will not win any more championships in my career, I will remain happy, given all that I have achieved.”
The Portuguese star also stresses that his dispute with his club Manchester United will not affect his country’s fortunes at the World Cup.
The five-time Golden Ball winner caused a spherical earthquake when he revealed in an interview last week: “I do not respect Dutchman Eric ten Hag, coach of the Red Devils,” indicating that he felt “betrayed by club officials,” accusing them of wanting to oust him from the team.
“I have no doubt that this interview, and other interviews with other players, can shake the player sometimes, but it will not shake the team,” Ronaldo said in a press conference from the Portugal training center, about thirty kilometers west of Doha.
Ronaldo, who will play the World Finals for the fifth time and most likely the last, was suspended by his club for one match after he refused to enter as a substitute against Tottenham last month and left the field before the final whistle.
The 37-year-old said during the interview that he felt “provoked” by Ten Hag’s reaction, stressing that he did not regret it.
He added, “I don’t worry about what other people think, I speak when I feel like it. Everyone on the team knows who I am and what I believe in.”
He confirmed that the recently circulated video of a cold handshake between him and his United colleague Bruno Fernandes, as well as scenes of him joking with Manchester City player Joao Cancelo, were exaggerated by the media.
The former Real Madrid player confirmed that the general atmosphere is excellent, it is bulletproof. The next player who comes here, you don’t have to ask him about it, don’t talk about me, you don’t have to talk about Cristiano Ronaldo… Help them and ask them about the World Cup.
Portugal begins its campaign against Ghana on Thursday, before facing Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
And after he missed Nigeria’s friendly (4-0 win) due to gastritis last week, Ronaldo said: “I feel good, I’m back, we’ve had good training, the team and I are ready to start the World Cup in the best way possible.”