Record-equalling Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo does not deserve his awards and is not among the best players in history, according to former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward Julio Salinas.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo made history Thursday by matching Lionel Messi's record Ballon d'Or haul of five, retaining football's most prestigious individual prize for the second year running.
Ronaldo claimed the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time in five years as the 32-year-old labelled himself the "best player in history".
However, former Spain international Salinas dismissed Ronaldo's claims via social media as he talked up Barca great Messi.
"Just because you're very good, that doesn't mean you're the best, as you've had the bad luck of coinciding with the great Messi," he wrote on Twitter.
"Sincerely, I don't think you are on the podium of the best in history, as there are quite a few who'd surpass you.
"Comfort yourself with these Ballon d'Or awards [something you have not deserved]."
Q seas muy bueno no quiere decir q seas el mejor ya q has tenido mala suerte de coincidir con el mas grande Messi
Y sinceramente no creo q estés en el Podium entre los mejores de la historia ya q te superarían unos cuantos
Confórmate con esos balones (alguno q no has merecido) https://t.co/Xe9d7BGKI3 — Julio Salinas (@juliosalinas19) December 8, 2017
Salinas later defended his opinion, though he spoke of his respect for Ronaldo but lauded Messi's overall game.
Messi leads La Liga with 13 goals, 11 more than Ronaldo after 14 matches.
However, Ronaldo – already the competition's all-time leading scorer – became the first player in history to convert in all six Champions League group-stage matches Wednesday.
Ronaldo has netted nine goals in six Champions League appearances this season, compared to Messi's three.