I don’t have any issue with Ronaldo, said it countless times – Messi

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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi admits to not being a close friend of Cristiano Ronaldo, but says he would happily accept a dinner invitation from the Juventus forward.

The two eternal rivals saw their paths cross once more at the recent UEFA awards gala.

Sitting alongside one another on the front row, the pair were asked about their relationship – having spent many years competing for collective and individual prizes.

Ronaldo, who left Messi behind in La Liga when leaving Real Madrid for Juve in 2018, again aired his admiration and respect for his fellow five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Those feelings are mutual, with there never any bad blood between two all-time greats.

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With that in mind, and with Ronaldo having suggested that he and Messi should meet up for lunch at some stage , an Argentine icon says he would be happy to spend time in the Portuguese’s company.

Quizzed by Spanish publication Sport on whether he would accept an invitation were a formal one to be tabled, Messi said: “Yes, I don’t have any problem with that.

“I’ve always said that I don’t have any issue with him. We might not be friends because we’ve never shared a dressing room together but I always see him at award shows and there’s no problem.

“We actually spoke with each other for quite a long time at the most recent show.

“I don’t know if there will be a dinner because I don’t know if our paths will cross for obvious reasons, each one of us has our own life and our own commitments. But obviously I would accept the invitation.”

For now, Messi is focused on returning to full fitness at Barca .

He has been nursing a calf complaint since the summer, with the ailment preventing him from playing any part in pre-season and the opening weeks of the 2019-20 campaign.

Ernesto Valverde needs him back as quickly as possible, with the Blaugrana having stumbled out of the blocks, with Messi’s talismanic presence always missed when he is not around.

Messi remains very much the main man at Camp Nou and will once again be competing with Ronaldo, and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, for FIFA Best and Ballon d’Or gongs in 2019 .

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