CRISTIANO RONALDO was desperate to ‘eclipse’ Lionel Messi during the pair’s epic rivalry at Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But during CR7’s nine-year tenure at Real Madrid, the pair engaged in some epic encounters, with the competition constantly bringing out the best in each other.
Karanka, trainer too Jose Mourinho in Madrid from 2010-2013, said the mirror: “When I was at Real Madrid, the Ronaldo-Messi competition and the Madrid-Barca rivalry made us better as a team and as individuals.
“Every game between the two teams was such a big challenge for everyone.
“It’s fantastic to see he’s still playing as a real leader for Manchester United – he’ll look for the ball and play as a striker, but when the team struggles he’s always there.”
Ronaldo scored a staggering 168 during Karanka’s spell at the Bernabeu and helped propel Real Madrid to La Liga and Spanish Cup glory.
And one of either Ronaldo or Messi won Ballon d’Or Every year Ronaldo was in Spain.
But Karanka’s first experience of El Clasico ended in a humiliating 5-0 defeat by Barca in 2011.
However, Ronaldo’s preparation was always the same and his desire to be better than Messi never waned.
Karanka recalled the loss: “It was painful, but it was a wake-up call for us that we needed.
“We had signed a lot of young players – like Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira – and they didn’t have the experience like Barcelona players – many of them had just won the World Cup.
“I remember watching Cristiano Ronaldo before games and how focused he was on scoring goals and winning games, getting better and eclipsing Lionel Messi. That was the competition that made us do it has to improve ourselves.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18018588/ronaldo-hellbent-eclipsing-messi-real-madrid-man-utd/ Cristiano Ronaldo was hell-bent on eclipsing Lionel Messi during Man Utd star’s time in Spain, ex-Real Madrid boss says