The man who is charged with handing out the Ballon d’Or says Cristiano Ronaldo has one ambition, which is to win more Ballon d’Or awards than Lionel Messi. The Manchester United star has since branded it as “lies”.
France Football editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre says the Portuguese forward has told him that the award means more to him than team trophies at this stage of his career.
“Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or [awards] than Messi,” Ferre told the New York Times. “I know because he has told me.”
That is a pretty damning assessment for any footballer – that he’d prefer to win individual awards than trophies with his team.
Do I believe this to be true for Ronaldo? No, it’s not based on any solid evidence, bar one man’s word against another.
Ronaldo did not attend Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, but he did respond to Ferre’s claims on social media.
“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,” Ronaldo wrote.
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“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 by 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.”
So, Ferre’s attempt to build a storm ahead of the Ballon d’Or ceremony works, in terms of publicity.
I’m not one bit surprised Ronaldo took the time to rubbish these claims because they didn’t paint him in a good light.