CRISTIANO RONALDO has broken his silence after opting to skip the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris, with Lionel Messi favourite to win.
The Manchester United star, 36, has won five Ballons d'Or during his glittering career – one behind his arch-rival.
Earlier this week, Pascal Ferre, the editor in chief of France Football – organisers of the prestigious award – claimed Ronaldo had revealed to him his only career goal was to win more Ballons d'Or than Messi.
But Ronaldo has hit back with a fiery statement on Instagram, saying Ferre 'lied' to 'promote his publication'.
Ferre 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.”
But Ronaldo has now hit back with a feisty statement on Instagram.
The United star wrote: "Today's outcome explains why Pascal Ferre's statements last week, when he said that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballons d'Or than Lionel Messi.
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"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."
Ronaldo's statement continued: "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…"
Messi is rumoured to have won a SEVENTH Ballon d'Or crown even before Monday night's ceremony.
Last week, leaked results appeared to show the Paris Saint-Germain had won the award.
And on Monday, Patrice Evra congratulated Messi on winning in a major gaffe.
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