Pumas star Daniel Alves has revealed why he was closer to Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo than former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.
He has spoken to team-mate El Chispa Velarde, who plays with him at Pumas in Mexico, published on Youtube. The 39 year old is more open than ever and admits “now I am not at Barca, I can talk.”
“In particular, I love Cristiano. Now it’s not Barca vs Madrid, because it always seems that you can’t talk, now I’m not there, I can. Cristiano exemplified for all of us that we don’t need to have so much quality, that with hard work we can also compete against the best. He exemplified it.
“I respect him so much, and one day I played against him and I had the chance to tell him.”
Alves continued: “There was a time when I tried to greet him and he did not greet me, that create controversy once. In a Ballon d’Or we also had a disagreement there, he did not greet me, because of all the noise that was happening there. They said that if I did not respect him why would he to me. How can I not respect a guy that has played through his hard work, on the basis of his balls. I identify with him. All I did in my life was on that basis.”
Some maybe surprised by Dani Alves’ quotes as on the pitch they were rivals and had clashes now and again.
“If you made a comparison, me as a player, I would be closer to Cristiano than Leo. I say that as it’s identifying more with Cristiano on the basis of work. It was what I did during my life, work to reach to where I reached. It was not pure talent. There was a percentage of that, but the biggest thing was hard work. That’s what Cristiano does. He has talent, yes, he does. But his work is what lets him compete with Messi and anyone else. How can I not respect that? But, sure, at Barca and Madrid that kind of thing comes up.”