Cristiano Ronaldo has angrily lashed out at the editor-in-chief of France Football, the organisers of the Ballon d'Or, for a recent Lionel Messi-related claim he made involving the Manchester United superstar.
In a recent interview, Pascal Ferre, the editor of France Football, claimed that Ronaldo told him that it was his burning desire to retire from football with more Ballons d'Or than his long-standing rival Messi.
The 36-year-old has now come out to strongly deny saying that, insisting that it is "unacceptable" that such a high-profile figure would make such a statement.
"Today’s outcome explains why Pascal Ferré’s statements last week when he said that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi," he wrote on Instagram.
"Pascal Ferré lied, he used my name for to promote yourself and to promote the publication you work 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 teammates and our fans, we can still achieve this season. The rest? The rest is just the rest…"
Ronaldo is only one of 10 players to have won the Ballon d'Or twice! Who is he joined by in the list?