Cristiano Ronaldo did not mince words in responding to comments made by the chief editor of France Football, the French weekly publication that has organized the Ballon d’Or awards since 1956 recognizing the best soccer players in the world.
In a story about the 2021 Ballon d’Or, which takes place in a Paris gala on Monday, Pascal Ferre said that Ronaldo has “only one ambition”: to win more player of the year awards than his long-time rival for the biggest awards in global football.
“Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi,” Ferre told The New York Times , “and I know that because he has told me.”
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Lionel Messi may very well win his record seventh Ballon d’Or on Monday, which would be two more than Ronaldo’s five. Messi is 34 years old and has recently joined one of the richest clubs in the world in Paris Saint-Germain. Ronaldo is two years older (36) and he also recently changed clubs to Manchester United, which is experiencing some turmoil after a difficult start to the season and a managerial change.
Here’s how Ronaldo responded to Ferre’s comment in an Instagram post that also addressed his absence at the gala event held at a Paris theater on Monday. The following is the translated text of comments published in Portuguese to his 371 million Instagram followers:
“Today’s development explains 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 Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi. 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, with absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.
“And he lied again today, justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.
“I always congratulate whoever wins, with the sportsmanship and fair play that have guided my career since the beginning, and I do it because I’m never against anyone.
“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 anyone.
“The biggest ambition of my career is to win national and international titles for the clubs I represent and for my country’s national team. The biggest ambition of my career is to be a good example for all those who are or want to be professional footballers. The biggest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in golden letters in the history of world football.
“I end by saying that my focus is already on Manchester United’s next game and on everything that, together with my teammates and our fans, we can still achieve this season. The rest? The rest is just the rest…”
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