Cristiano Ronaldo’s patience snapped on Tuesday over Barcelona’s three amigos when it was put to him that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have the edge over Real Madrid’s forwards because they get on so well.
Madrid’s all-time record scorer was wound up by one too many questions about his Barcelona nemesis when speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 tie at Roma.
“How do we know that [their relationship] is that way? It is only because that is what is written,” he said when asked if the fact that Suarez, Messi and Neymar were friends off the pitch gave them an advantage over Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Ronaldo front three.
“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 has kept a lid on any resentment of Messi in recent seasons but having already been irritated by questions about his own goalscoring form, he responded without holding back, surprising even his own coach Zinedine Zidane who was sat next to him in the pre-match press conference room.
The Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema forward line dominated the 2013-14 season and they won the club’s 10th European Cup together, with Ronaldo scoring his 17th goal of the tournament in the final.
But the following season they were eclipsed by Suarez, Messi and Neymar who scored 122 goals between them as they won the treble.