NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has made a surprising revelation that might not go down well with Cristiano Ronaldo. While Shaq is known for his exploits on the basketball court, not many know that he used to play soccer as well. He appeared on ‘The Big Podcast’ last year where he revealed about his early soccer playing days. Shaq had also expressed his disdain for soccer.
When asked about his opinions on soccer, Shaquille O’Neal said, “All it is running and kicking.” However, the 51-year-old did admit that he respects soccer players and considers them to be athletes. In addition to this, Shaq and former Philadelphia 76ers star Charles Barkley had also mocked the US Men’s soccer team ahead of the World Cup 2022.
Shaquille O’Neal to Messi via @TyCSports: “I would like to tell you that I love you, brother. You are the best and it will be a pleasure to get to know you.” 🗣️🏀 pic.twitter.com/IXAWOSHxo8
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) May 25, 2023
Thus, Shaquille O’Neal surprised everybody when he recently expressed his love and admiration for Lionel Messi. According to TyC Sports, Shaq said, “I want to tell you (Messi) that I love you. I love you brother, you are the best.” The former Los Angeles Lakers center’s comments came during the fourth game of the NBA Eastern Conference final between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.
Luka Doncic has high praise for Cristiano Ronaldo 👏 pic.twitter.com/rNnAB8ah0s
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 15, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo, however, might not have liked Shaquille’s statement. The question of Ronaldo or Messi has gone down as one of the biggest and incessant debates in soccer history. However, fortunately for Ronaldo, other NBA stars like Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic have expressed their admiration toward the former Real Madrid star.
Shaquille O’Neal issued a warning for Lionel Messi after the World Cup 2022 final
While Shaquille O’Neal professed his love for Lionel Messi recently, it wasn’t quite the case a few months ago. The four-time NBA champion had instead issued a warning for the PSG star following Argentina’s historic World Cup win last year in Qatar. Among many others, Shaq also had a few words about Argentina’s infamous celebrations following their World Cup triumph.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina teammates caught a lot of flak for their controversial celebrations. Several Argentine stars were harshly criticized for mocking French star Kylian Mbappe following Argentina’s victory over France. However, Shaq’s warning to the Argentinean players had nothing to do with Mbappe. Instead, the 7-foot-1-inch giant talked about the players drinking alcohol in the dressing room.
Shaq said, “I also saw this picture right here and then with the caption said, ‘Don’t let people from Qatar see this because there’s alcohol in the locker room.’ I wanna know who snuck it in and how much he got paid.” Shaq’s comments stemmed from the fact that Qatar has a zero-tolerance policy on public consumption of alcohol. Moreover, Qatar also banned the sale of beer in stadiums during the World Cup.