Football & FIFA -The old man at it again
Cristiano Ronaldo believes Fifa favouritism for Barcelona and Lionel Messi is undermining his legacy at Real Madrid and fears he will not win the Ballon d'Or again while Sepp Blatter remains in charge of football's governing body.
Both the Blancos and Ronaldo responded furiously on Tuesday at quotes made by Blatter on Friday in which the Fifa chief had expressed a preference for Messi and made fun of the Portuguese and, although the Swiss moved to apologise and play down the controversy, the player feels the remarks are indicative of institutional bias.
Asked about Messi and Ronaldo by students at an Oxford University debate on Friday, Blatter said: 'One spends more at the hairdresser’s than the other, but I can’t say who is better. I like them both, but I prefer Messi.'
Ronaldo responded angrily to the Swiss on Twitter and Facebook, posting a video of the Fifa chief making fun of him. 'This video shows the respect and consideration that Fifa has for me, my club and my country.
However, as far as player and club are concerned, the damage is done because the Swiss had already revealed his preferred player: Messi. 'Leo's a good lad, every mother or father would like to have him at home,' Blatter has said of the Argentine.
Both players were nominated in the 23-man shortlist announced on Tuesday, along with fellow favourite Franck Ribery, but Ronaldo is already convinced he will not claim the prize and doubts he will win it again while Blatter is in charge.
'Those [Blatter] quotes explain the reasons why Cristiano doesn't have more Ballons d'Or,' Portuguese great Paulo Futre said on Tuesday. 'The trophy is a farce - if I had any doubts before then they are all gone now.'
Fifa have published Blatter's letter of apology to Madrid on their official website and refused to comment further on Wednesday.