Real Madrid youngster Federico Valverde has retracted a claim he made that Lionel Messi is better than his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Valverde weighed into the debate during a Q&A session with local children, telling them that he thinks the Barcelona star is a better player than his teammate Ronaldo.
"[Ronaldo and Messi] are the two best players in the world," Valverde said in the recent Q&A session, per the Mirror. "But I opt for Messi," he added.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who is currently out on loan at Deportivo La Coruña, moved to clarify his claims in the media, passing off his comments as a 'joke'.
"I wanted to clarify a misunderstanding that occurred today on campus, with the children in an interview," he said in a Twitter video, which has since been deleted.
Federico Valverde (Real Madrid player on loan at Deportivo): "Messi and Ronaldo are the two best players in the world, but I prefer Messi." [referi]— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) March 28, 2018
Just a couple hours ago, he posted a video on Twitter saying that it was a joke. The video is now deleted. 😂 pic.twitter.com/yBtkC6Kq5v
"It was a joke about Messi and Ronaldo because he knows that I am from Madrid and I always bet or fight for Cristiano because he is the best player in the world, it shows every day, match by match."
As if that wasn't enough, Valverde expanded his point even further, saying he would not have signed for Real Madrid had he thought that Messi was the best player in the world.
"I wanted to clarify that and if I had felt a fanaticism for Messi I would never have signed for Real Madrid, I wanted to clarify that and make it clear that they are the two best players in the world, but I will always be on the side of Cristiano Ronaldo."