Andre Gomes says Cristiano Ronaldo has congratulated him on his move to Barcelona, and that playing alongside Ronaldo for Portugal and Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou is not an issue.
Gomes joined Barca from Valencia this week for an initial fee of €35 million, despite having been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Speaking to Catalan station TV3, the 22-year-old said he had already spoken with Portugal teammate Ronaldo about the Barca move and was now looking forward to enjoying playing alongside the two players acknowledged as the world’s best over the last decade.
“I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo,” Gomes said. “He congratulated me and the truth is he was happy for me, but now I will remain a rival of Cristiano, as I was before [at Valencia]. On the pitch there is no friendship.
“I have time with the national team to be with him, and enjoy being with him. For the moment what I want most is to enjoy playing with Messi.”
Gomes was presented as a Barca player on Wednesday, but as he was part of the Portugal squad that won Euro 2016 this summer, he will not join up with his new squad until Aug. 8.
His arrival appears to mean Luis Enrique has a surfeit of midfielders, with Gomes, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Denis Suarez and Sergi Samper all competing for the three central spots in the coach’s preferred 4-3-3 system.
La Masia product Samper, 21, was recently promoted to the first-team squad and signed a new contract that runs until 2019 with a €50m release clause, but he has been linked with a loan exit, potentially to Valencia, as a result of the competition for places.
Asked at a news conference from Barca’s current training base in England, he said: “My idea is to stay here, but if Luis Enrique says the best is to go on loan, I will accept that.
“My priority is to stay and to learn. To be with the best in the world is my dream since I was small.”