Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that the much vaunted friendship between Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is no big deal.
The Real Madrid star insists that their bond off the pitch has had no reflection on it.
“How do we know that [their relationship] is that way? Only because that is what gets written,” Ronaldo told a press conference.
“I am going to tell you something. When I was at United, I didn’t speak [off the pitch] to [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes and [Rio] Ferdinand apart from the normal ‘good morning’ but we won the Champions League.
“We talked on the pitch and that is all that mattered. Does it matter that I don’t go out for dinner with Benzema or that Bale does not come around my house. It is not important. This thing about the little meals, the little hugs, the little kisses. To me that doesn’t mean anything.”
Ronaldo formed the most feared strikeforce in Europe with Bale and Benzema in the 2013-14 season and they won the club’s tenth European Cup together with Ronaldo scoring his 17th goal of the tournament in the final – a game in which Bale also scored.
But the following season they were eclipsed by Barcelona’s front three when Suarez arrived from Liverpool to play alongside Messi and Neymar. Barca’s trio scored 122 goals between them on their way to winning the treble.
This season they have added the European Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to the collection and their camaraderie off the pitch has, in part, been credited with the sensational form.
Ronaldo also appeared ruffled when asked about Messi’s recent penalty assist. “I know why he did it and I am not going to say anything more than that. You can think whatever you like,” he said.
When his own form was questioned he told one reporter: “I would like to continue this form that you say is so bad until the end of the season.”
Ronaldo then walked out when his form away from home was questioned, saying: “Since I have been in Spain, name one player who has scored more goals than me away from home.”
When no one responded, he added: “You don’t have one.”