Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that rival Lionel Messi didn’t deserve to win the World Cup Golden Ball award this summer after the Real Madrid star joked he would be sent to prison if he gave his real opinion.
Messi beat the likes of World Cup winner Thomas Muller and Colombia's James Rodriguez to the prestigious individual award after scoring four goals in Brazil and steering Argentina to the final, which they lost to Germany.
Argentina legend Maradona revealed that he thought Fifa’s decision to award Messi with the prize was based on commercial reasons, and Ronaldo has now hinted that the Barcelona star did not do enough during football's greatest competition to win the Golden Ball.
“If I said everything that I think, I would be in prison,” Ronaldo, who picked up Uefa's Player of the Year award this week, told TVI when asked about his thoughts on whether his Barca rival had earned the award.
“Everyone can see, make their own judgements, the people in the world of football are intelligent.
“It would be a very interesting question for him. I cannot be honest about it.”
Messi and Ronaldo's rivalry has been ever-present on and off the pitch for over half a decade now, with the Portuguese getting one over on the Argentine in the Ballon d'Or earlier this year after losing out on the accolade to the Barca forward for four consecutive years previously.