CRISTIANO RONALDO still boasts the most points in Ballon d’Or history – despite Lionel Messi winning the coveted award twice more.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward scooped a record seventh trophy on Monday night as he narrowly edged out Robert Lewandowski.
Messi, 34, retained the award he won in 2019 after the prestigious individual honour was failed to be given out last year due to Covid restrictions.
And though many fans and pundits will claim that the Argentina international is football’s GOAT, the voting stats in the Ballon d’Or prove otherwise.
Five-time winner Ronaldo, who last won the award in 2017, has amassed 3,781 points from nominations of the award.
That is over 200 points more than rival Messi, who has picked up 3,574 points.
Despite scoring 36 goals for Juventus last season, while already finding the back of the net ten times for Manchester United this term, Ronaldo finished just sixth in the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 award.
It is the first time in 11 years that the striker has finished outside of the top three, as he picked up just 178 points, compared to Messi’s 613.
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 hit back with a fiery statement on Instagram, saying Ferre ‘lied’ to ‘promote his publication’.
He remarked: “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.
“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.”
During Messi’s winner speech, the Blaugrana legend called on the Ballon d’Or to award Lewandowski the award for 2020 following his incredible season for Bayern Munich.
He stated: “I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you.
“Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.”