Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed claims from a French journalist that his main aim is to finish his career with more Ballon d’Or wins than Lionel Messi.
The Manchester United forward has collected the award five times, while Messi has already won it on a record six occasions and is favourite to take the honour for 2021 at Monday evening’s ceremony in Paris.
Earlier this week, Pascal Ferre, the editor in chief of France Football – organisers of the Ballon d’Or – said Ronaldo had told him that his primary ambition was to retire having won the accolade more times than rival star Messi.
“Today’s outcome explains Pascal Ferre’s statements last week, when he said that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballon d’Ors than Lionel Messi,” Portugal international Ronaldo posted on Instagram.
“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.
“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.”
Ronaldo was absent from Monday’s prize-giving event in the French capital.
The 36-year-old, who was a second-half substitute in his club’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, hit back at claims that his non-attendance was due to quarantine, while dismissing any suggestions of poor sportsmanship.
“And he (Ferre) lied again today, justifying my absence from the gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist,” continued the player’s Instagram post.
“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.”