Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo denied claims that he has an obscene nickname for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and threatened to take legal action against those responsible for spreading the rumors.
The Telegraph excerpted an anecdote from Messi, a book by Guillem Balagué, stating that some Real Madrid players said that Ronaldo’s nickname for Messi is "motherf—-r."
The book also said that Ronaldo uses the nickname if he sees anyone speaking to Messi and suggests that Ronaldo's teammates compare Messi to a puppet kept in one of Ronaldo’s designer bags.
Ronaldo denied those claims in a post on Facebook.
“News is circulating that I allegedly made offending remarks regarding Lionel Messi," Ronaldo wrote on Facebook. “This is absolutely false and I have assured my lawyer takes action to sue those responsible. I have the utmost respect for all my professional colleagues, and Messi is obviously no exception."
The two soccer stars are among 23 players named to the short list for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award, given to the world’s best player.
Ronaldo leads La Liga with 18 goals this season. Messi is third in goals scored with seven and needs two more goals to become the Spanish League's all-time leading scorer.
Messi and Ronaldo will face each other next week when Portugal takes on Argentina in a friendly match.
- Scooby Axson