'Disrespect': Cristiano Ronaldo's 'unacceptable' Ballon d'Or rant

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Lionel Messi (right) has now won two more Ballon d'Or awards than his great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic: Getty
Lionel Messi (right) has now won two more Ballon d'Or awards than his great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo has gone on an explosive social media rant about one of the organisers of the Ballon d'Or awards, accusing him of an unacceptable "lie" on the same day Lionel Messi's scooped the top individual gong in men's football.

Messi won the men's Ballon d'Or for a record-extending seventh time, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and his first major international trophy with Argentina.

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The 34-year-old Messi led Argentina to the Copa America title in July after losing in four major international finals.

With his seventh gong as the best footballer on the planet, Messi has now won two more Ballon d'Or awards than longtime rival Ronaldo, who was sixth in the voting.

The Manchester United and Portugal star was not present at the awards night in Paris, but accused one of the organisers of spreading lies about him in a scathing post on social media.

Pascal Ferré - the editor of France Football who organises the Ballon d'Or - told the New York Times that Ronaldo was driven by a desire to finish his career with more awards than Messi.

"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," Ferré said.

The remark led to a stinging rebuke from Ronaldo, who slammed the Frenchman for an act of "absolute disrespect", while seeking to clarify what actually drives him.

Seen here, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo warms up before a match against Chelsea.
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo denies claims he is motivated by winning more Ballon d'Or awards than Lionel Messi. Pic: Getty

"Today's outcome explains Pascal Ferré's statements last week, when he said that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls (Ballon d'Ors) than Lionel Messi," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

"Pascal Ferré 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. And he lied again today, justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.

"I always want to congratulate those who win, within 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 the national team in my country. 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 will end by saying that my focus is already on Manchester United's next game and on everything that, together with my team-mates and our fans, we can still achieve this season."

Lionel Messi wins record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or

Messi won the Ballon d'Or after finishing with 613 points to top prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski (580) and Chelsea's Italy midfielder Jorginho (460).

"I'm very happy to be here, happy to keep fighting for new trophies," he said at the awards ceremony at Paris's Theatre du Chatelet.

"I don't know how many years I have left, but I hope many more. I'd like to thank all my (former) teammates at Barcelona and Argentina."

Pictured left, Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and runner-up Robert Lewandowski with his wife on the right.
Lionel Messi (left) won his seventh Ballon d'Or award after beating Robert Lewandowski to the top gong. Pic: Getty

The Argentine made special mention to Lewandowski, who many thought should have won the award in 2021 after being denied the chance in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

"I would like to say to Robert that it's an honour to be your rival, and everyone would say you deserved to win it last year," Messi said.

The 33-year-old Lewandowski set a new single-season scoring record for the Bundesliga with 41 goals and netted in 19 consecutive games in all competitions for Bayern from February to September.

Overall, he already has 25 goals in 20 games for Bayern this season and scored 11 goals in 12 games for Poland this year.

Jorginho helped Chelsea win the Champions League and Italy win the delayed European Championship.

with AAP

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