Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared to criticise the decision to award Lionel Messi the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
The Argentine was voted the recipient of the prestigious individual award for a seventh time after a year that saw him lead Argentina to victory at the Copa America.
His record tally is two more than Ronaldo has secured, though the Manchester United forward only finished sixth in this year's voting.
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Yet the Portuguese's official Instagram account commented beneath a fan-made post outlining Ronaldo's annual achievements and suggesting that the organisers "find a way" to give the prize to Messi.
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Ronaldo's account replied to the post: "Facts", adding a thumbs up and "eyes" emojis.
"For Cristiano to win this prize he has to be 300% unquestionable," the account posted.
"It's no use scoring the most beautiful bike of the year, being champion of everything by club, top scorer of everything and scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup, they still provide a way to take his prize.
"With Messi, it's the other way around. He can do a low-key season, way below, they'll always find a way to favour him and give him the prize."
Messi's closest challenger this year was Robert Lewandowski, who many felt had been denied the gong after France Football made the decision not to give out the prize last year due to the coronavirus.
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Lewandowski finished 33 points behind Messi in this year's voting but was awarded the new prize of "Striker of the Year".
The editor of France Football, Pascal Ferre, had this week been criticised by Ronaldo for claiming that the five-time award winner had told him that retiring with more Ballon d'Or awards than Messi was Ronaldo's "only ambition".
Ronaldo accused Ferre of lying and said he does not "win against anyone".
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