Cristiano Ronaldo keeping quiet over Lionel Messi's World Cup award
August 29, 2014
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Cristiano Ronaldo said that if he explained why he believes Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball at the World Cup in Brazil, he could end up in jail.

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Ronaldo made the claim in a relaxed interview on Portuguese TV channel TVI, which was pre-recorded and then broadcast after he had been named UEFA's European Player of the Year for the 2013-14 campaign on Thursday evening.

Messi was not nominated for the award after a disappointing and injury-affected season with Barcelona, and Ronaldo was the favourite after scoring a record 17 goals in 11 games as Real Madrid won their long-awaited "Decima" -- 10th Champions League trophy.

Suffering from fitness issues, the Portugal captain subsequently struggled to make an impact at this summer's World Cup, while Messi initially starred for Argentina in the early stages before being shut down by opponents later in the tournament.

The Albiceleste captain looked embarrassed when he was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player after his country were beaten 1-0 in the final by Germany.

And Ronaldo has told TVI that he has a theory as to why FIFA's expert judging panel chose Messi, although he was not going to share it.

"Everyone can see, make their own judgments, the people in the world of football are intelligent," Ronaldo said. "It would be a very interesting question for him. I cannot be honest about it."

"If I said everything that I think, I would be in prison," Ronaldo then added, before breaking into laughter.

Earlier in the interview, the former Manchester United man denied that he had a personal rivalry with Messi, who has won four Ballon d'Or awards over his two.

"To be honest, I think the rivalry thing is created by the press," Ronaldo said. "Because I do not have any rivalry with him. We go to the award ceremonies. We've always had a very professional and normal relationship."

Asked whether Messi has helped to build this relationship, Ronaldo smiled and said, "Maybe sometimes the press tries to give a better impression of him. Or people simply like his image more.

"It's normal, we can't please everyone. I have to respect everyone's opinion. And I can live with it. And I do not live my life depending on what others think of me."

The 29-year-old went on to explain that for him to perform at the highest possible level, he must believe that he is the best player in the world.

"I would not say there is the best and the worst," Ronaldo said. "Each one does his job, each one delivers his best. Both want to be the best. For me, in my mind, I am the best.

"If you do not think this way, the human being, if you do not think that in your job you are the best -- if he does not think that in his cameraman job he is the best, if he does not think that he is the best Nike representative, then we do not have ambition. I have to think that in my job I am the best. I might not be, but in my mind I am the best."

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