Cristiano Ronaldo still claims Ballon d'Or bragging rights over Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t even bother to attend Monday night’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony as he finished all the way down in sixth place.

It was Lionel Messi‘s night as he scooped his seventh Golden Ball from the fingertips of Robert Lewandowski.

And while the Argentine will certainly be glowing this week after getting one over on his rival, Ronaldo still has something to smile about over the next few days.

According to YouTube channel StatsTube and the addition of this year’s points, on the all-time points list, Messi has accumulated 3,574 points from nominations of the award.

But that is still some way behind Ronaldo’s 3,781, which he began accumulating way back in 2005 before his first win three years later.

Cristiano Ronaldo still claims Ballon d'Or bragging rights over Lionel Messi
© AFP via Getty Images Lionel Messi claimed his seventh Ballon d’Or award

Having largely dominated the award for past 13 years, it is no surprise that the points awards of other competitors pales in comparison.

Ahead of Monday night’s ceremony, Ronaldo, who did not attend the event, was embroiled in a controversy with France Football, the organisers of the Ballon d’Or, editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre.

Ferre had told the New York Times: “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.”

Who is the true GOAT – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Comment down below

But Ronaldo fired back on social media in astonishing fashion, branding the alleged quotes “lies” and insisting he has always championed “sportsmanship”.

“Today’s outcome explains why Pascal Ferre’s statements last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi,” the Portugal captain wrote 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.

Cristiano Ronaldo still claims Ballon d'Or bragging rights over Lionel Messi
© REUTERS Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Golden Balls in the past

“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 team-mates and our fans, we can still achieve this season.

“The rest? The rest is just the rest…”

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