Brazilian ace Neymar stated that to him, Ronaldo is a ‘Monster’ and Lionel Messi is an ‘Idol’ whom he hopes to emulate.
The PSG forward has faced a bit of a difficult period, growing disillusioned with life at Barcelona as he was unable to step out of Messi’s shadow and then moving to PSG only to have his status as head honcho threatened by a 19-year-old Mbappe.
Coupled with a torrid World Cup which saw Mbappe lift the trophy with France while Brazil exited the competition in the Quarter Finals at the hands of Belgium, Neymar hasn’t had a lot of fun lately.
But the superstar has said that the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo has only served to inspire him rather than intimidate him.
I played with Messi who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football,” said Neymar speaking to the Player’s Tribune alongside Basketball ace Steph Curry.
“With Messi, I learned every day, whether during our practice, or playing with him, or just watching him play. And that made me stronger and it increased my capacity on the field because I kept learning a lot from him.
“As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a monster. Facing him is a pleasure and an honour, but we have to be more prepared.
“He is one of the greatest in football so you get smarter, you get alert, but at the same time you learn a lot, too.
“They are two of the big guys that I can relate to, because I want to learn, I want more, I want to win, I want more trophies, [to] score more goals. So, I keep learning from them every day.”
Neymar is not likely to be on the podium for the Ballon D’or ceremony this year, but with 8 goals in 9 games in this new campaign, just maybe he could make the list next year.