Katia Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister, expressed her support for the Al-Nassr star and appeared to criticize Lionel Messi after the Argentine’s Ballon d’Or victory.
She left a comment on an Instagram post featuring an image of Ronaldo posing with his numerous individual awards, including his five Ballons d’Or.
The caption on the post read: “Earned, not given”. Aveiro commented with five applause emojis.
The image was seemingly a subtle jab at Messi, who secured his eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday. Messi was named the best player in the world for the past year after leading Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar at the end of 2022.
Nevertheless, many have questioned the decision to award Messi the prize, especially given Erling Haaland’s remarkable achievement in helping Manchester City secure a historic European and English treble, with 52 goals scored in all competitions last season.
Ronaldo and Messi were the dominant figures in the Ballon d’Or awards for a decade, starting in 2008. Ronaldo secured his fifth and final Ballon d’Or in 2017 and finished as the runner-up to Luka Modric in the subsequent year. In contrast, Messi has claimed the award three more times since then.
Messi’s first match since winning the Ballon d’Or again will take place later this month as Argentina gets ready to face Uruguay and Brazil in World Cup qualifying matches. On the other hand, Ronaldo will be in action for Al-Nassr on Saturday as they go up against Al-Khaleej in the Saudi Pro League.