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By James Strudwick

Cristiano Ronaldo has blamed the media for fabricating the idea that he and fellow La Liga forward Lionel Messi have a big rivalry going on.

Pundits, journalists and fans of football constantly compare the Real Madrid winger to the Barcelona superstar because of the multiple records both players hold.

— Sky Football ?? (@SkyFootball) 27 October 2016

“There is a big mutual respect between myself and Lionel Messi,” Ronaldo told Coach Magazine.

“The media like to make out like we have this big rivalry, but we don’t. It is not like we are good friends, but there is mutual respect on both sides.”

The 31-year-old currently has 16 club honours to his name, including three Champions League titles, one La Liga and three consecutive Premier Leagues.

The three-time Ballon d’Or and UEFA Best Player In Europe winner started his career in his native Portugal at Sporting Lisbon, before leaving for Manchester United in 2003.

While in England, Ronaldo made a total of 291 appearances for the Red Devils and scored 118 goals in all competitions.

In July 2009 the forward moved from England to Spain, joining Real Madrid for £80 million, which at the time was a world record transfer fee.

Since then he has won nine trophies at the Santiago Bernabeu, including Madrid’s ‘La Decima’ tenth Champions League title, during which he scored 16 goals and broke the record for netting the most times in the competition during a single season.

The forward currently has 95 goals in total in Europe’s top competition.

Over the summer Ronaldo won the European Championships with Portugal, the first international trophy he has claimed with his country.