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Cristiano Ronaldo’s bold claim in 2019 before Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or win: “I’ll retire”

Thierry Marchand, one of the top journalists at L’Equipe, has released the biography of Cristiano Ronaldo. He met the Portuguese international in 2019 when the journalist interviewed the attacking superstar and made a biography that was released today.

In his biography, Marchand has revealed some key comments Ronaldo had made back in 2019, where the forward said he would quit football if Lionel Messi had won the Ballon d’Or.

“I changed clubs, championships, football culture, I took a risk and it was that risk that I’m sure, made me not win the Ballon d’Or in 2018,” Ronaldo said (h/t Diario AS) when asked about him not winning the Ballon d’Or in 2018.

Ronaldo, though, added that his nemesis Lionel Messi did not deserve to win the Ballon d’Or title either, adding, “If Messi wins the Ballon d’Or this year, I’m leaving football”.


Fortunately for Ronaldo, it was Luka Modric who ended up winning the Ballon d’Or, thus becoming the first footballer, apart from Messi and Ronaldo, to win the coveted title since 2007.

Modric was recently joined by his Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema, in the list of footballers who have won the Ballon d’Or title apart from these two footballing juggernauts over the past 15 years.

As we witness a major shift in football when it comes to individual hierarchy, it appears both Messi and Ronaldo are starting to lose their supremacy over the world of football. It was evident in Benzema’s triumph in the Ballon d’Or this year.

As time goes on, we may soon witness the two superstars hand over the torch to next-generation stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.


Cristiano Ronaldo is celebrating, alongside club and international team-mates Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot, after being selected in Portugal’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

Fernando Santos’s side were forced to book their ticket to Qatar the hard way, having been pipped to top spot in their qualifying group by Serbia.

After edging out Turkey 3-1 in the European play-off semi-finals, Fernandes’s brace in Porto was enough to see the Selecao past North Macedonia – conquerors of Italy – and into the 32-team tournament, which kicks off next Sunday.

The 2016 European champions have been drawn in a tricky-looking Group H, alongside Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay.

While Dalot will be dreaming of a first World Cup involvement and Fernandes of regular games in the competition after being limited to just one start four years ago, Ronaldo has the opportunity to make history in the Middle East.

The 37-year-old was first selected for a World Cup in 2006, when a Portugal side featuring the likes of Luis Figo, Deco and Ricardo Carvalho progressed to the semi-finals before being eliminated by France.

Ronaldo scored a penalty against Iran in Germany and he has found the net at every tournament since, placing him in a select group as only Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose can join Cristiano in scoring goals at four separate World Cups.

CR7 is still going strong, which means he could make history and become the first male player to register at five editions of the world’s premier sporting event.

Although, with seven goals, he is still some way behind Klose’s record tally of 16, there are two other landmarks Ronaldo could achieve this winter.

Twelve years is the longest span between a player’s first and last goals at the tournament and he will go out on his own as the new record holder with 16 should he find the net in Qatar.


Simply playing at a quintet of tournaments is actually a rare achievement in itself, with only three other players having done it before.

Mexico goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal’s World Cup career spanned from 1950 to 1966, while Germany legend Lothar Matthaus appeared in games at every finals between 1982 and 1998.

Rafael Marquez, also of Mexico, added his name to the list at the 2018 World Cup, having first made his tournament bow back in 2002.

Ronaldo will match the trio if he plays in Qatar, and he could be joined by eternal rival Lionel Messi, who has also featured at each World Cup since 2006, as have Mexico’s Andres Guardado and Ronaldo’s former clubmate, Sergio Ramos (Spain).



2006: 1 v Iran
2010: 1 v North Korea
2014: 1 v Ghana
2018: 3 v Spain, 1 v Morocco


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