Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to end his career with more Ballon d’Ors than rival Lionel Messi, according to one of the organisers of the prestigious award.
Pascal Ferre, the editor in chief of France Football – the respected publication that decides the award – claims the Manchester United forward "told him" his final aims before calling time on his playing days.
“Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi,” Ferré told the New York Times. “And I know that because he has told me.”
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Ronaldo, 36, has won the Ballon d’Or five times compared to Messi’s six ahead of the announcement of this year’s prize and the two are among the favourites to win it again.
The Ballon d’Or remains the most distinguished individual award for a player in world football with this year’s announcement due on Monday.
Rumours about the identity of the potential winner continue to spread but Ferre insists that it remains a closely guarded secret and any speculation should be ignored – even though he already knows who has won.
“This is my sixth year in charge of the event,” he said. “I have not made a mistake yet.”
“I don’t want to lie,” he added. “I can’t share their name because the winners do not know yet, and it would not be right for them not to be the first to find out.”
You can watch a free livestream of the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app on Monday night. Join us from 19:30-21:00 GMT as the best male and female players on the planet are crowned in Paris (stream available to UK users only)
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