Last night Lionel Messi claimed his seventh Ballon d’Or as he pipped Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to the award.
While many felt Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski deserved one for 2020, when the award was cancelled, he also had a good shout to be this year’s winner having arguably put together a much stronger run in 2021 than Messi.
However, the controversial winner wasn’t the only controversy of the night, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s war of words with France Football editor, Pascal Ferre was a major talking point.
Ferre told the New York Times “Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or’s than Messi, and I know that because he has told me.”
Ronaldo took umbrage with this quote, later taking to Instagram to debunk a lot of what was said:
“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.”
“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.”
— CloudNine Sports (@cloudninesports) November 29, 2021
The Ballon d’Or’s standing within the game has been decreasing for a number of years now, with many choosing not to take the award seriously. This could be the final nail in the coffin for the once coveted prize.