Lionel Messi met Cristiano Ronaldo Jr at the 2017 Ballon d’Or ceremony and footage of their encounter is incredibly wholesome.
Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or at a gala in Paris, collecting 946 points to Messi’s 670 to move level with the Argentine.
The pair have shared the stage for the best part of 15 years and pushed each other to achieve greatness with their ridiculously high standards.
They don’t socialise all that much off the pitch but backstage before the event, Messi and Ronaldo were in the same space. Ronaldo brought his eldest child along and he was quite clearly in awe at seeing the Barcelona legend in the flesh.
Although he’s perceived to be his father’s rival, Cristiano Jr has referred to Messi as “his idol” and always talks about him.
So when they met, Messi came over and asked how the youngster was before giving him a hug and kiss in a lovely moment.
Ronaldo’s mother Dolores Aveiro was also in attendance and revealed that her grandson could not believe how small Messi was – even claiming it wasn’t actually him.
“I was with him and I said, ‘look, it’s Messi,’ and he replied, ‘that’s not Messi, he’s short,” she said in an interview, as per MARCA.
“Then my son encouraged him to wave. Messi is a very good person. My grandson is already taller than him, [laughs] it was a very fun moment.”
Just less than two years on and Messi and Ronaldo were sat next to one another at the Champions League draw, often seen in conversation in the front row.
Ronaldo gave a brilliant interview with BT Sport on his relationship with Messi and extended an invitation for him to come to dinner one day.
“I shared this stage with him (Messi) for 15 years,” Ronaldo said.
“I don’t know if it has ever happened before in football – the same two guys in the same stage all the time. Of course we have a good relationship – we have not had dinner together yet, but I hope so in the future.
“We have that battle, he pushed me and I pushed him as well. It’s great to be a part of the history of football. I am there, and of course, he is as well.”