Madrid: Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo Wednesday said his fiercest rival FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi motivates him to reach greater heights.
Messi and Ronaldo are widely considered to be the two best footballers of contemporary times.
They have, together, won the prestigious FIFA Ballon D' Or annual award, given to the best footballer of the planet, for the last seven years with Messi claiming it a record four times. Ronaldo is the current holder of the trophy.
"I'm sure that the competition between us is a motivating factor for him too," he was quoted as saying by mirror.co.uk.
"It's good for me, for him and for other players who are keen to grow. Messi has four Ballon d'Or awards, I have three. This is all good for the world of football," the 29-year-old added.
Argentine playmaker Messi earlier also expressed his admiration for the Portuguese footballer, saying he would love to play alongside him and identifying him as one of the very best players of all time.
"I think he will definitely be one of (the best players ever), it will be difficult to top that. But yes I'd obviously love to play (with him)," he said.
"I have been fortunate enough to be able to play with many good players and obviously I would love to play with him."