Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday strenuously denied reports claiming that he refers to rival Lionel Messi of Barcelona with an offensive nickname when he is with his Real Madrid teammates. In fact, Ronaldo became so incensed at the suggestion, which emerged on Tuesday in published excerpts from a new book about Messi by a Blaugrana journalist, that the reigning Ballon d’Or winner threatened legal action on his Facebook page Wednesday.
"This is absolutely false and I have assured my lawyer takes action to sue those responsible," the Portuguese wrote. "I have the utmost respect for all my professional colleagues, and Messi is obviously no exception."
While tensions between Ronaldo and Messi have long been rumored, the pair have always publicly denied any rift between them.