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Cristiano Ronaldo has accused France Football's editor-in-chief of "lying" after Pascal Ferre claimed the Portuguese superstar told him about his final objective before retiring.
Ferre, who has been in charge of the Ballon d'Or for the last years, said Ronaldo had expressed a desire to finish his career with more prizes than long-time rival Lionel Messi.
"Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d'Or [awards] than Messi," Ferre was quoted as telling the New York Times, as per MARCA.
"I know because he has told me."
But on Monday evening, Ronaldo has emphatically denied that such a conversation took place and blasted Ferre for using his name to "promote himself" and "promote the post he works for".
The 36-year-old branded Ferre's actions as "unacceptable".
"Today's outcome explains why Pascal Ferré's statements in the last week, saying that I confided to him that I had the sole ambition to end my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi," Ronaldo wrote in a lengthy statement on Instagram.
"Pascal Ferré lied, used my name to promote himself and to promote the post he works for. It is unacceptable that the responsible for awarding such a prestigious award should lie like this, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Golden Ball. And lied again today justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to be.
"I always wish congratulations to those who win, within sports and fair play that have guided my career from the beginning, and I do so because I'm never against anyone. I always win for myself and the clubs I represent, I win for myself and those who want me well. I don't win against anyone.
"The greatest ambition of my career is to win national and international titles for the clubs I represent and for my country's Selection. The greatest ambition of my career is to be a good role model for all those who are or wish to be professional footballers. The greatest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in the golden letters in the history of world football.
"I end by saying that my focus is already on the upcoming Manchester United game and everything that we can still conquer this season along with my mates and our supporters. The rest? The rest is just the rest."
Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Ors in his glittering career, his most recent triumph coming in 2017.
Messi is in line to collect the award for an unprecedented seventh time at tonight's ceremony in Paris. Ronaldo, meanwhile is not expected to be named in the top three.
Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Mo Salah and Jorginho are among the other leading contenders.
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