Cristiano Ronaldo’s sole ambition is to retire with more Ballon d’Or wins than his rival Lionel Messi, according to the editor-in-chief of France Football.
Pascal Ferre oversees the vote every year and only the winner and the editor’s deputy are allowed to know the winner in the days before the announcement.
Otherwise the tally is kept a closely held secret by Ferri, and on Monday 29 November the award returns after a year off due to covid.
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Messi is one of the favourites, alongside Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema, Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Jorginho, and Poland international and Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Ferre said: "It is the sixth year that I am responsible for this and so far I have not made a single mistake . I do not want to lie, but tell all who call me I can not say the name because the winners themselves do not even know yet. it would not be fair to find out.
“We are very careful. The winner of the Ballon d'Or is a big secret. I don't think there is a comparable situation in sport. Luka Modric cried like a child when I called him.”
Messi, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain this summer from boyhood club Barcelona, has six awards aged 34. Ronaldo, two years older, has five, with the 36-year-old running out of time to fulfill his ambition.
"Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d'Or than Messi and I know because he told me," Ferre claimed.