Ronaldo livid about 'lies' on Ballon rivalry with Messi

PARIS • Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at comments made by Ballon d'Or organiser Pascal Ferre, saying that the editor-in-chief of France Football "lied" about his rivalry with Lionel Messi.

Ferre told the New York Times last Friday that the Manchester United forward's sole ambition was to retire with more of the awards for the world's best football player than his rival.

Argentina's Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer from Barcelona in the summer, beat Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, the reigning Best Fifa Men's Player, and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, to claim a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or award on Monday.

Ronaldo was also in the running but lost out in his bid to win the accolade for the sixth time and his first since 2017.

However, the 36-year-old appeared to be more upset with the comments in the newspaper interview, saying on his Instagram page on Monday: "Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for.

"It is unacceptable that the person responsible for awarding such a prestigious prize could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d'Or.

"Today's outcome explains the comments by Pascal Ferre last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballons d'Or than Lionel Messi."

As for his no-show in Paris, Ronaldo also said Ferre "lied again today to justify my absence from the ceremony due to an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist".

France Football magazine did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on Ronaldo's post.

"I always win for myself and for the clubs I represent, I win for myself and for those who love me. I don't win against someone," added the Portugal forward.

"The biggest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in golden letters in the history of world football.

"I'll finish up by saying that my focus is already on Manchester United's next game and everything that we can still achieve this season alongside my teammates and our fans. As for the rest, the rest is just that."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2021, with the headline Ronaldo livid about 'lies' on Ballon rivalry with Messi. Subscribe