Ronaldo accuses Ballon d'Or organizer of lying about Messi rivalry
In an interview with The New York Times last week, Ballon d'Or organizer and editor-in-chief of France Football Pascal Ferre said, "Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballon d'Or than Messi."
The Manchester United superstar responded shortly before Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony in France, accusing Ferre of lying.
"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," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram, as translated by ESPN.
"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."
Ronaldo didn't attend Monday's event despite being named on the shortlist for this year's prize. Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer, went on to win the Ballon d'Or for a record-extending seventh time, while Ronaldo finished sixth and outside the top three in voting for the first time since 2010.
Ferre attributed Ronaldo's absence to a disagreement over quarantine rules, which the five-time Ballon d'Or winner denied.
"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," Ronaldo added.
"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."
Ronaldo and Messi were fierce rivals for a decade in Spain and were constantly compared to each other as they broke record after record at Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.