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Cristiano Ronaldo said France Football editor Pascal Ferré "lied" after claiming that the Portuguese forward told him about his ambition to retire with more Ballon d'Or awards than Lionel Messi.
Ferré, who organizes the awards, spoke to The New York Times ahead of this year's ceremony and allegedly revealed information from a private conversation with Ronaldo.
"Ronaldo has only one ambition: to retire with more Ballon d'Or than Messi. I know because he has told me," Ferré told The New York Times.
Ronaldo, who did not attend the event on Monday, posted a message on his social media profiles before Messi won his seventh Ballon d'Or, a record, denying what Ferré had claimed.
Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021
"Today's result explains the reason for Pascal Ferré's statements last week, when he said that I had confided to him that my only ambition was to end my career with more Ballon d'Or trophies than Lionel Messi," wrote Ronaldo.
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"Pascal Ferré 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 award could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect towards someone who he has always respected France Football and the Ballon d'Or, "he continued.
"And today he has lied again by justifying my absence from the ceremony with a supposed quarantine that has no reason to be," he added.
Pascal Ferré was not immediately available when asked by CNN for a comment.
"I always win for myself and for the clubs I represent," Ronaldo said.
The Ballon d'Or is voted by 180 journalists and awarded by France Football to the best male and female player of the year.
Ronaldo is now two awards away from Lionel Messi after finishing sixth in this year's standings.
It is the first time it has been outside the top five since 2010.
"I always want to congratulate those who win, within the sportsmanship and fair play that have guided my career from the beginning, and I do it because I am never against anyone. I always win for myself and for the clubs I represent, I win for me and for those who love me. I don't win against someone, "said Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi adds to his career the seventh Ballon d'Or 2:23
"The greatest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in gold letters in the history of world football," he said.
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Controversy at the Ballon d'Or awards
This year's awards have sparked controversy, with some questioning whether Messi deserved to win the award against runner-up Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 53 goals this year, more than any other player in the top five European leagues.
There were also those who thought Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who finished seventh, deserved to be ahead of Ronaldo.
Despite his team not winning any trophies last season, Salah scored 22 Premier League goals and has started this year with some eye-catching performances.
Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy, came third.
Ballon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi