The 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony is on the books, with Lionel Messi having claimed the award for a record seventh time. Before the event, there was a lot of speculation, leaks, and controversial statements.
France Football editor Pascal Ferre claimed before the eagerly awaited ceremony that Cristiano Ronaldo had only one ambition before retiring that was receiving more Ballon d'Ors than Messi. He even said that he knew it because Ronaldo told him.
Just a few hours before the 2021 Ballon d'Or results, Cristiano set the record straight through a lengthy post on Instagram, where he blasted Ferre for "lying". Take a look at the Portuguese superstar's statement.
Ronaldo blasts France Football editor for "lying" about Ballon d'Or ambitions, competition with Messi
Widely regarded as the two most dominating players in recent history, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have often battled for the Ballon d'Or over the last few years. The fact that they also competed against each other playing for lifelong rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, helped world soccer to fuel a rivalry the players never actually had.
However, Ferre's comments on Ronaldo wanting to finish his career with more awards than Messi seemed to revive that antagonism. That's why Cristiano took to social media to make things clear, and on the way he suggested Ferre lied:
"Today's outcome explains why 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 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, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d'Or. And he lied again today when 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. The rest? The rest is just the rest…"
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or five times. However, he has other ambitions than just winning the individual award. Now that he's back at Manchester United, Ronaldo wants to get back to glory days, especially in the Champions League.