Manchester United star forward Christiano Ronaldo has furiously denied claims that his only ambition is to “retire with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi”.
The Portugal forward, who won the prestigious award five times, accused the editor of France Football Pascal Ferré of lying just after Argentina forward Messi won his record-extending seventh Balon d’Or.
Ferré told the New York Times: “Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or [awards] than Messi. I know because he has told me.”
However, Ronaldo refuted the claims and accused Ferre of lying during the interview. In a hard-hitting statement, Ronaldo accused the head of France Football of using his name to market himself and his publication. Ronaldo also insisted that he is not in a competition against any one individual and that his biggest ambition is to win trophies for his club and his country.
Writing on photo-sharing social media platform Instagram, Messi said
“Today’s outcome explains the comments by Pascal Ferré 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 Ferré lied and used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication that he works for. It’s unacceptable for the person responsible for handing out such a prestigious award to lie in this way and to show disrespect to someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or. He lied again today to justify my absence from the ceremony due to an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.
“I always congratulate whoever wins, in tandem with the sportsmanship and fair play that have underpinned my career since the start and I do that because I’m never against anyone. I always win for myself and for the clubs that I represent. I win for myself and for those who love me. I don’t win against anyone.”
“My biggest ambition in my career is to win trophies at club and international level, for the clubs that I play for and my national team. My biggest ambition in my career is to set a good example for everyone who is or wants to be a professional footballer. My biggest ambition in my career is to have my name written in gold in world football history.
“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…”