Barcelona host Real Sociedad and Real Madrid tackle Valencia as the Primera Division gets under way this weekend, with the Catalans out to recapture the crown they lost to Madrid last season after three straight titles.
The battle between Messi and Ronaldo to be named the best player on the planet continues as a long-running sideshow, but Messi insists there is nothing personal in it as far as he is concerned.
“I respect him, but I have no relationship with him, as I don’t with a lot of other footballers,” he told Marca. “I have relationships with my Barcelona club-mates, and with the international squad, Argentinian players who I’ve got to know well over the years. There’s never been any kind of anger toward Cristiano.
“I don’t compete with Cristiano, nor does he with me.”
Barcelona begin life in the post-Pep Guardiola age with new manager Tito Vilanova taking charge of his first league game.
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