The Argentine superstar reminisced over the famous battle with his Portuguese nemesis.
Lionel Messi believes his 'special' La Liga duel with Cristiano Ronaldo will 'remain forever' in people's minds despite his rival's switch to Serie A.
With Messi the figurehead at Barcelona and Ronaldo spearheading Real Madrid from 2009 until 2018, the two attacking superstars dominated world football to win all but one of the last 12 Ballon d'Or awards - with only Luka Modric managing to break the duopoly in 2018.
Messi feels the longevity and intensity of his rivalry with Ronaldo was a highlight and that fans will not easily forget their battles even though the Portuguese is now plying his trade for Italian giants Juventus.
"It was a special duel and it will remain [in people's minds] forever, because it lasted for many years and it is not easy to maintain such levels for a long time. Plus, the teams we played in were also very demanding, both Real Madrid and Barca, the two best teams in the world," Messi told La Liga on DAZN.
"Competing on an equal footing for so many years, I think it will remain [in people's minds] forever. The sporting duel between us was very nice on a personal level and I think people had fun too, whether they were fans of Madrid or Barca, or even only football fans in general."
Despite a four-year drought, Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or in 2019 to go one ahead of Ronaldo, who has claimed the prestigious honour on five occasions.
During Ronaldo's time in the Spanish capital, Messi scored 472 goals in 476 appearances across all competitions, while his Madrid foe hit 450 goals in 438 matches.
Messi remembers fondly the times he took on Ronaldo and said Barcelona's Clasico matches against Madrid were more important when the Portugal international was playing in them.
"Obviously, when Cristiano was at Real Madrid, the matches were always special," Messi said.
"The matches against Real always mean a lot, but when Cristiano was there they became much more special.
"But it's a time that has passed now, that we have experienced. Now, we have to look ahead to the future."