Cristiano Ronaldo agreed that Lionel Messi ‘stole’ last Ballon d’Or

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Cristiano Ronaldo previously backed claims from a fan account on Instagram that Lionel Messi stole the Ballon d’Or from himself and Robert Lewandowski in 2021 in what was described as a ‘shameful’ scenario for all involved. Ronaldo shared a pitch with Messi for potentially the final time on Thursday as Paris Saint-Germain defeated a Riyadh all-star team in Saudi Arabia, with both players scoring for their respective sides.

The pair were seen embracing after the final whistle and shared plenty of mutual respect during the event, which saw PSG run out 5-4 winners at the end of a hugely entertaining contest at the King Fahd International Stadium. The two players are known to admire each other’s talents but are not exactly the best of friends, as evidenced by Ronaldo’s frosty reaction to Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or win back in 2021.

Ronaldo was also nominated for the award but ultimately finished sixth with 435 fewer votes than Messi, who scooped the prize ahead of heavy favourite Lewandowski. The Argentine forward’s triumph was controversial and Ronaldo made his feelings clear in his reply to an Instagram post by a fan account called ‘Cristiano Ronaldo – The Legendary’, which he followed at the time.

The post listed Ronaldo’s achievements in 2021 before claiming that Messi’s accolade was wholly unjustified, saying: “It’s no use scoring the most beautiful bike of the year, being champion of everything by club, top scorer of everything and scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup, they still provide a way to take his prize.

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“With Messi, it’s the other way around. He can do a low-key season, way below, they’ll always find a way to favour him and give him the prize. Theft. Dirt. Shame. Simply regrettable. Who saw, saw. Anyone who is smart enough knows who the real deserving ones are.

“Receiving awards without earning it is false happiness, without pride. Regardless of these awards, the CR7 will always be the best in history!”

Ronaldo seemingly agreed with the points made in the post and was not afraid to go public with his thoughts by commenting: “Facts,” alongside a thumbs-up emoji. It seems as though Ronaldo will end up finishing his career with at least two fewer Ballon d’Or awards than Messi, who currently has seven to his name and will be the favourite to win this year’s prize after leading Argentina to a historic World Cup triumph.

However, the Portuguese icon recently underlined his respect for Messi by insisting that he would like to get to know the 35-year-old when their respective playing careers are done and dusted. He told Piers Morgan: “Why not? I love to meet people. I love people, you know, I love to share things, ideas, learn things, ideas, new histories. New brains.

“Why not? I will do it for sure. I will do it. A debate, as Maradona and Pele did. No problem. Come on. I’m a good person. I know. I have a good heart.”

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