Sergio Ramos was fiercest rival in El Clásico – Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has said Sergio Ramos was his most intense rival when they both played in El Clásico in Spain.

The two had numerous battles when Messi played for Barcelona and Ramos led Real Madrid‘s defence.

The rivalry settled when the pair unexpectedly became teammates at Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.

Speaking on his nephew’s YouTube show about which player he argued with the most during his career, Messi said: “We fought a lot with Sergio Ramos. We later became teammates, but [before] in the Clásicos, we always grabbed each other. The Clásicos were intense.”

Ramos has previously described Messi as “the best player football ever produced.”

On Tuesday, Ramos’ departure from Sevilla was announced by the Spanish club.

The former Spain captain returned to his boyhood club last summer after two seasons at PSG and scored seven goals in 37 appearances for Sevilla.

The veteran defender turned down an option to extend his second stay at the club but denied he is considering retiring from football.

“Absolutely not,” Ramos said of quitting the sport. “I feel physically fit. I am hungry to continue playing. I see myself playing for one or two years. I had the option to stay at Sevilla but I’ve taken a personal decision.”

A World Cup-winner with Spain and two-time European champion, Ramos, 38, has been linked with a move to MLS where he could come up against Messi again.

Messi, Argentina‘s captain, joined Inter Miami in MLS in July 2023 after his contract at PSG expired.

“I haven’t taken a decision yet,” Ramos said. “I have not signed anything with any club. Fortunately, I have interesting options. I’ve earned the right to decide my future and that of my family.”

Ramos recently travelled to Dallas to support Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic during the NBA finals, leading to speculation that he could join an MLS club after leaving Sevilla.

“I am great fan of the NBA and I have a good rapport with Luka Doncic from our time at Real Madrid,” Ramos said. “But I didn’t go to Dallas because of anything relating to my future. USA has always attracted me because of the quality of life but that has nothing to do when it comes to taking a big decision.”