Cristiano Ronaldo Slams Ballon d'Or Chief Over Lionel Messi "Lies" After Ceremony Snub
The Manchester United superstar, 36, has won the golden ball five times while Paris Saint-Germain rival Messi, 34, now has seven gongs to his name.
Messi was a heavy favourite to triumph - and duly did - during a ceremony in the French capital on Monday night, where Ronaldo was not in attendance. The Ballon d'Or is presented by magazine France Football, whose editor-in-chief stoked the rivalry between the two iconic footballers last week.
Pascal Ferre told the New York Times: "Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi, and I know that because he has told me." In the wake of Ferre's comments, Ronaldo hit back on Instagram with an astonishing statement, branding the alleged quotes "lies" and insisting he has always championed "sportsmanship". "Today's outcome explains why Pascal Ferre's statements last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi," the Portugal captain wrote. "Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works.