Manchester United and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to social media on Monday evening, to clarify recent claims surrounding his name ahead of the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
‘He told me’
The subject of the 2021 Ballon d’Or has of course proven headline news across the globe over the last 24 hours.
This comes with the latest edition of world football’s most coveted individual prize set to be handed out by France Football later tonight.
As things stand, it is of course record-holder Lionel Messi who is viewed as the favourite to bag the award, with Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski close behind in 2nd.
As alluded to above, though, in the buildup to Monday’s ceremony, it is 5-time ‘Golden Ball’ winner Cristiano Ronaldo who, despite being viewed as a heavy outsider for the prize, has seen his name cast into the spotlight in a major way.
This comes owing to claims on the part of Pascal Ferre, editor for France Football, that Ronaldo’s one remaining career ambition is to have more Ballons d’Or to his name than Messi, upon hanging up his boots for good:
“Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or than Messi and I know because he told me.”
Ronaldo, however, has since moved to clarify the situation.
In a fiery statement released on his personal Instagram account, the Portuguese icon has flat-out denied ever making such comments, slamming Ferre’s efforts to ‘promote himself’ at Ronaldo’s expense.
The post, which can be read in full below, also confirms that the 36-year-old’s absence from tonight’s ceremony in Paris, despite claims to the contrary, has not come as a result of an enforced period of self quarantine:
Today’s outcome explains why Pascal Ferré’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. 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. The rest? The rest is just the rest…
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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