Cristiano Ronaldo has publicly backed claims from a fan account that Lionel Messi stole the Ballon d’Or from himself and Robert Lewandowski.
PSG star Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or on Monday night, beating Bayern Munich marksman Lewandowski to the prize by 33 votes.
Ronaldo – a five-time winner – finished sixth and 435 votes astray of Messi, yet the Manchester United forward has poured scorn on his Argentinean rival’s victory, commenting ‘facts’ underneath a fan post detailing why the Portugal captain deserved the gong over Messi.
The post, on the page of a fan account called ‘Cristiano Ronaldo – The Legendary’ which Ronaldo himself follows, details Ronaldo’s 2021 achievements before describing Messi’s accolade as ‘Theft. Dirt. Shame. Simply regrettable.
‘Who saw, saw. Anyone who is smart enough knows who the real deserving ones are. Receiving awards without earning it is false happiness, without pride.’
The caption, underneath photos of Ronaldo playing for Juventus, United and the national team, starts: ’43 goals in the year, 6 goals in 5 games in this Champions League, all decisive and a guy who, regardless of age, continues to work miracles and is the guy who most impresses the world most often.
‘They still put the guy in 6th… Do you really think that 5 guys did more than him in the year? Never.
‘He could fight for this award calmly and the fight would be good with Lewandowski who in individual numbers was incredible and Bayern had a better season than Juventus and has been having a calmer season than United, but at the national selection level for example, Cristiano was much better.
‘And who does the prize go to? For Messi, who only won the Copa del Rey by Barcelona, he hasn’t scored a goal against Real Madrid since when Cristiano left, disappeared in the big games of the season, won the Copa America that was supposed to be every 4 years and do practically every year.
‘He didn’t score in the final or in the semi-final. And he’s been having a weak season with PSG individually.
‘For Cristiano to win this prize he has to be 300% unquestionable. It’s no use scoring the most beautiful bike of the year, being champion of everything by club, top scorer of everything and scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup, they still provide a way to take his prize.
‘With Messi, it’s the other way around. He can do a low-key season, way below, they’ll always find a way to favour him and give him the prize.’
Messi’s triumph in Paris on Monday has been criticised in many quarters, with Jurgen Klopp, Toni Kroos and Iker Casillas all surprised by the decision.
Ronaldo, too, was embroiled in a row with the Ballon d’Or’s chief over ‘lies’, after Pascal Ferre claimed that the 36-year-old’s career ambition was to end his career with more golden balls than Messi.
In a statement on Instagram, Ronaldo countered: ‘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.’