Cristiano Ronaldo slams Ballon d'Or chief as Lionel Messi closes in on 7th award win

Cristiano Ronaldo has slammed the editor of France Football Pascal Ferre for claims levelled against him on a day in which his rival Lionel Messi has been tipped for a seventh Ballon d'Or award. The man responsible for one of world football's prestigious honors reportedly claimed that the Portuguese supaerstar's on career aim was to finish with more Ballon d'Or trophies than his archnemesis - an assertion the Manchester United forwad has vehemently debunked.

Ahead of the ceremony which saw players, coaches, journalists and personnel in the football business troop to the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, Ferre had told the New York Times ahead of the ceremony: "Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d'Or than Messi, and I know that because he has told me." Earlier it had emerged that the Portuguese international was not going to be in Paris on Monday night, with many attributing his absence to the fact that his chances of winning were marginal.

However, Ronaldo has since taken to his official social media pages to slam Ferre's claims and allegation, calling them a lie. He wrote: "Today's outcome explains why Pascal Ferre made statements last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballons d'Or 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, justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist. "I always want to congratulate those who win, with the sportsmanship and fair play that have guided my career since its beginning, and I do so because I'm never against anyone.

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"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 of my country.

"The biggest ambition of my career is to set a good example for all those who are or who 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…" 

A subsequent announcement by France Football saw Cristiano Ronaldo finishing in sixth position ahead of Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. It is the first time that the Portuguese forward has finished outside of the top three in the Ballon d'Or rankings for the first time since 2010.

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