Manchester United star player, Cristiano Ronaldo’s fans expressed their anger on social media after a “disrespectful” moment involving him during Monday’s Ballon d’Or annual event in Paris.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, missed the ceremony in Paris. The 36-year-old finished in the sixth place behind N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Jorginho, Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi, who won and secured the award for the seventh time this year.
Despite Ronaldo’s absence in the event, he still garnered attention during the night’s awards. Fans were dismayed after the organizers displayed a huge image of the Portuguese player in his underwear alongside former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. It was an old cover of Vanity Fair magazine that was released ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
The camera immediately cut to Messi, Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappe, who were all seen giggling and laughing. Drogba himself, who was a co-host in the event, asked why the image was shown.
A lot of football supporters reacted uneasily to the stage joke. Most of the fans labeled this as “disrespectful,” especially since Ronaldo was not present at the ceremony. Majority of Ronaldo fans saw the joke as an intentional show of disrespect toward the Manchester United forward.
The incident comes after Ronaldo slammed France Football’s editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre for falsely claiming about the United legend wanting to win more Ballons d’Or awards before his retirement than Messi.
He hit back at Ferre’s claims in an Instagram post, “Pascal Ferre said last week that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi. Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for. It is unacceptable that the person responsible for awarding such a prestigious prize could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.”
Ronaldo lashed out at rumors of his absence from the ceremony due to coronavirus quarantine. He congratulated those who won the honor. He concluded by saying that his focus now is on the Red Devils and their fans.