Ronaldo: 'It hurts to see Messi in tears'

by
Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo offered his sympathy for Lionel Messi after seeing his perennial rival in tears at the Copa America Centenario.

Messi announced he would retire from Argentina following the country's third consecutive defeat in a major final, once again losing out to Chile in penalties.

Related: Messi 'done playing with national team' after another crushing loss

The media has tried for years to create a divide between Ronaldo and Messi - two of the sport's greatest athletes playing for rival clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona - but the Portuguese star made clear that Messi's heartbreaking reaction had upset him.

"It hurts to see Messi in tears and I hope he returns to his national team, because they need him," Ronaldo told Argentine media, courtesy of ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan.

Messi missed the first spot kick in the dramatic showpiece, and teammate Sergio Aguero said afterwards that it was the "worst I've ever seen him in the dressing room."

Ronaldo also botched a penalty in the group stage of Euro 2016, giving the high-profile pair a reason to commiserate.

"(Messi) is not used to defeats and disappointments, not even to finishing second," said Ronaldo, about whom the same could be said. "To miss a penalty does not make you a bad person."