Rio Ferdinand made big headlines this week by claiming that Lionel Messi unfollowed Alejandro Garnacho on Instagram because the Manchester United sensation is a huge fan of Cristiano Ronaldo.

You know what I like about him? He doesn’t give a f***. Garnacho told me that Messi unfollowed him just because he makes no secret of preferring Ronaldo. He comes out, don’t care, ‘I’m a Ronaldo man’. Who’s the GOAT? Ronaldo. (Even) when he’s in the Argentina squad,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, as quoted by Goal.

But it looks like this is not true. While some fans thought Messi unfollowed the 19-year-old in April 2022 after he called CR7 the GOAT, Garnacho’s brother Roberto claims Leo never followed the Man Utd star in the first place.

Fake , Messi never followed him , stop making stuff up just to create hate , garna loves and admires both of them and you all Trying to creating a rivalry. I’ve even seen videos of Messi showing the World Cup to garna , mate if u knew how we celebrated it at home,” Garnacho’s brother wrote on X (Twitter).

Garnacho admires both CR7 and Messi

Messi and Ronaldo may have been rivals for a long time in their quest to conquer world soccer, but that doesn’t mean people can’t admire both of them. While Garnacho has never hidden his admiration for CR7, he also expressed how much he looks up to Messi.

The Spanish-born winger got to spend time with the Portuguese superstar at Manchester United’s senior squad, and eventually met Messi when Lionel Scaloni called him up to the Argentine national team.

Garnacho may feel more identified with Ronaldo because of his style of play and their Man United connection, but he still heaped praise on Messi after meeting the 8x Ballon d’Or winner for the first time.

Dreams really do come true. Idol…,” Garnacho wrote on an Instagram picture posing next to Messi, adding the goat emoji to his post. A few months ago, he dedicated another post to the Inter Miami star, who celebrated his free-kick goal against Ecuador by hugging Garnacho.

“El rey (the king),” Garnacho wrote. At the end of the day, both Messi and Ronaldo have inspired the younger generations, and it’s perfectly normal to see people who admire both superstars. There’s no need to create a rivalry all the time.