Ronaldo has taken to Instagram to congratulate Lionel Messi and put aside all national rivalries.
El Fenomeno has plenty in common with Messi, having finished as a runner-up with the Golden Ball before actually winning the World Cup. Despite the historic rivalry between Brazil and Argentina, however, R9 took to social media to say that he saw plenty of his countrymen rooting the Albiceleste.
Ronaldo also paid tribute to his and Messi's fellow Barcelona legend, Diego Maradona.
“This guy's football throws any rivalry to the corner – even the historic one between Brazil and Argentina,” Ronaldo said (opens in new tab). “I saw a lot of Brazilians – and people from all over the world – rooting for Messi in this electrifying final.
“A farewell worthy of the genius who, far beyond being a World Cup star, captained an era. I imagine my friend Diego's party in heaven. Here, we are millions of all nationalities giving you a standing ovation. Congratulations Messi!”
Speaking a few weeks ago, however, R9 said that he would struggle to say that he was happy for Argentina as a nation – due to the South American rivalry – despite being happy for Messi.
“I cannot answer for the whole of Brazil. I can only answer for me,” Ronaldo said. “And I am not that sure! Yeah, of course, I will be happy for him (Messi).
“But, you know, we have a great rivalry between Brazil and Argentina. I will not be that much of a hypocrite to say I will be happy for Argentina because it’s not true. But, of course, I see football as a romantic. Of course, I will accept (an Argentine triumph) and I will enjoy any champion.”
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