Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at suggestions that the great friendship between the "MSN" – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – is the secret of Barcelona's success, saying that he won the Champions League with Manchester United despite not even speaking to the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. The Real Madrid star was also coy when asked his opinion of the Messi/Suarez two-man penalty during Barca's 6-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend.
Barcelona's attacking trio have long been praised for their good relationship both on and off the field, having scored 86 goals between them so far this season. In contrast, most reports suggest that Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are far from close friends at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But asked ahead of the Champions League round-of-16 match with Roma whether the La Liga leaders benefit from their frontline's close ties, Ronaldo replied: "You believe all that you read? I'll be straight with you. At Manchester United we won the Champions League and I didn't talk to the likes of Scoles, Giggs or Ferdinand, apart from saying 'good morning'.
"Despite that, we had an excellent team. I don't have to go out for dinner with [Karim] Benzema or invite him over. What counts is what happens on the pitch. I don't need hugs and kisses".
Messi demonstrated his selfless nature in the win over Celta, passing the ball to Suarez from the penalty spot rather than scoring himself, despite the fact the goal would have been his 300th La Liga strike.
But when asked about the incident, Ronaldo said: "I know why Leo did it and I'm not going to say any more than that, you can think what you want now."
Spanish press sources have made various interpretations of the quotes, with most suggesting that CR7 was implying Messi was helping Suarez overtake the former Manchester United player as La Liga's top scorer. However, after the game, it was revealed the pass was originally intended for Neymar rather than Suarez.