Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that the relationship he has with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale is not important like Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez but he wants Bale fit to help the team win trophies.
Barca’s front three led the Catalan club to the treble in 2014-15 and was recently described by coach Luis Enrique as “the best trident in the history of football”.
Messi, Neymar and Suarez have been even better this season and were again in the headlines after putting on an exhibition of attacking football in Sunday’s 6-1 win over Celta Vigo, which included the Argentine opting to assist Luis Suarez rather than shoot from the penalty spot.
The three are always pictured together in training and during warm-ups and never tired of speaking about their great relationship. “The ideal situation is that players can all be friends,” Luis Enrique said on Tuesday. “We see the way Messi, Suarez and Neymar celebrate, the way they enjoy each goal. They joke a lot. Their friendship makes it even better for us.”
But Ronaldo rejected that idea in his side’s pre-match press conference in Rome. “How do we know that [their relationship] is that way?” he said. “It is only because that is what is written.
“When I was at [Manchester] United, I didn’t speak [off the pitch] to [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes and [Rio] Ferdinand apart from the normal ‘good morning’, but we won the Champions League.
“We talked on the pitch and that is all that mattered. Does it matter that I don’t go out for dinner with [Karim] Benzema or that Bale does not come around my house? It’s not important. This thing about the little meals, the little hugs, the little kisses. To me that doesn’t mean anything.”
Ronaldo and Bale have both maintained in the past that their relationship is a good one, yet gestures and awkwardness at times indicate it is not as always as smooth as they make out.