Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/4/12

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are almost always linked together. When one superstar is mentioned, it's often in relation to his counterpart. But world soccer's two leading lights are only bound in the minds of others, never in their own. Ronaldo revealed that he and Messi are not friends in an interview with beIN SPORT. "He's a great player. [We have] a professional relationship like I have with other players," Ronaldo said. "I'm not his friend because we don't share the same dressing room, we don't go out for dinner. "I respect him like a professional, but we're not friends ... like real friends." Ronaldo's comments come as no surprise since the two share a rivalry of epic proportions. Their on-field exploits are the stuff of legend -- especially when they face each other during "El Clasico." But they keep their distance off the field with neither making the trek from Barcelona to Madrid (or vice-versa) to share a meal and good conversation. Ronaldo also spoke about how a large part of the sporting public has a negative perception. He's apparently gotten used to it over the last five years. He said he would change it by working in the media, but he's too busy with his current job. Watch Ronaldo's interview in the video below. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer's Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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