Cristiano Ronaldo invites Lionel Messi for dinner at UEFA awards

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi sat next to each other at the ceremony

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo praised his long-term rival Lionel Messi at the UEFA Champions League draw, saying he hopes the pair have dinner together "in the future".

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The rivals are widely regarded as two of the greatest players of all time, shared the pitch many times in epic El Clasico battles and have 10 Ballons d'Or split evenly between them. However, Ronaldo wants the pair to become great friends after their playing days.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus reacts after scoring during the penalty shootout of the International Champions Cup match against FC Internazionale at the Nanjing Olympic Center Stadium on July 24, 2019 in Nanjing, China
Image: Ronaldo has not faced Messi since moving to Juventus in July 2018

After the Champions League draw in Monaco, Ronaldo and Messi were interviewed together before the winner of the UEFA Men's Player of the Year was announced.

Asked if he missed the rivalry with Messi since leaving Real Madrid for Juventus, Ronaldo said: "I was curious because we shared this stage for 15 years, me and him.

"I don't know if that has ever happened in football, the same two guys on the stage at the same time, so it's not easy.

"Of course we have a good relationship, we have not had dinner together yet but I hope in the future."

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Virgil van Dijk poses with the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award
Image: Virgil van Dijk poses with the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award

Despite their dominance, Messi and Ronaldo lost out on the award to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk after he guided the Reds to Champions League glory in June.

However, Messi did pick up one award on the night by winning UEFA Forward of the Year, with Barcelona team-mate Frenkie de Jong awarded Midfielder of the Year and Liverpool's Alisson Goalkeeper of the Year.

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