Prior to the recent El Clasico between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo was quoted by the BBC saying, “I am not going to play against Messi, I am going to play against FC Barcelona.” Though the Real Madrid forward has long played down his rivalry with his Argentine counterpart, Messi’s biographer Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has thrown a spanner in the works that Ronaldo just didn’t see coming…

In his recently-published book Messi, the Sky Sports football pundit reveals that Ronaldo has a somewhat less-than-endearing nickname for the Argentine superstar and four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or.

“According to some Real Madrid players, Ronaldo has a nickname for him: ‘motherf—-r’; and if he sees someone from the club speaking to Leo, he also ends up being baptised ‘motherf—-r’,” he writes.

Though the two have always shared a somewhat cordial relationship, it appears Ronaldo hasn’t been as forthcoming with his feelings as he claims.

According to the book, “The Madrid players, with their less than subtle dressing-room sense of humour, have a long list of jokes that include Messi as Ronaldo’s dog or puppet, or kept in a designer handbag belonging to the Portuguese player. And much worse.”

While Messi has long been referred to as a ‘god-gifted’ talent, Ronaldo has had to work much harder to attain his ‘superstar’ status. According to Bleacher Report, “He (Ronaldo) is not the most gifted athlete in football, nor could you say that he is the most innately talented. But where he has surpassed so many of his peers is in a dogged determination to develop the most versatile blend of trickery and finishing quality seen around the world.”