Dani Alves says he has no ill feelings towards Cristiano Ronaldo, blaming the media for creating tension between the two.
The ex-Barcelona right-back had a brief clash with the Real Madrid star during a Clasico encounter and later talked about him in the press, warning that his desire to be centre of attention has its downsides.
It culminated in Ronaldo snubbing the Juventus player when they were gathered together at the Ballon d’Or gala in 2015, during which the Portuguese attacker was named the world player of the year.
But Alves says it all started out of nothing, insisting he has never intended to disrespect the three-time Champions League winner.
“All my fights with Cristiano were because of the press,” he told ABC.
“If people only knew how much I respect Cristiano Ronaldo. I will repeat it to make myself clear: I respect Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Everyone tells me what a fantastic professional he is. As for CR7, it’s different, he was my rival and I had to compete with him.
“When I said he always wanted the limelight, that when you win you are going to be the star but when you lose they will go for you, I said it in a very respectful way.
“And I think the same of [Lionel] Messi or Neymar. But my thoughts were not negative. What happens is that the press sold them differently, saying that I had spoken ill of him. And Ronaldo believed it.
“That’s why he did not greet me at the Ballon d’Or gala in 2015. I do not need to talk about anyone to go out in the newspapers. I have no ego.”
Alves also opened up about the end of his time at Barcelona. The Brazilian spent eight years with the Catalan side after joining from Sevilla.
However, having departed to join Juve in June, Alves has criticised the Barca board for the way they treated him, saying they were “false and ungrateful”.