Cristiano Ronaldo moment branded disrespectful during Ballon dOr ceremony

A moment involving Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday night was labelled "disrespectful" by some fans on social media.

The Manchester United superstar chose not to attend the event as eternal rival Lionel Messi secured his record-setting seventh award.

For the first time since 2010, Ronaldo finished outside the Ballon d'Or top five, sixth behind Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante.

Though despite snubbing the ceremony, Ronaldo was still a big talking-point on the night, particularly after organisers showed a picture of the Portugal international in his underwear alongside former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

Showing the photo – taken by Vanity Fair magazine ahead of the 2010 World Cup – prompted giggles from Messi, Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappe, but the joke appeared to go down like a lead balloon with only a fraction of the audience reacting to it.

Drogba, who was presenting the show alongside French journalist Sandy Heribert, even asked "why" moments later.

Plenty of Ronaldo fans saw the joke as an intentional show of disrespect toward the former Real Madrid and Juventus man.

"Unreal disrespect to show this during the ceremony. Even Drogba was asking why this was even shown," one fan wrote.

Another said: "The way Ronaldo is being treated is so appalling to me, like why was there a need to show this?"

"It really is Ronaldo vs the world man the disrespect is alarming," wrote another.

The incidence comes after Ronaldo hit out at France Football's editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre after he claimed the 36-year-old's only ambition was to win more Ballon d'Ors than Messi.

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The Man United star also claimed he missed the ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions, not because he didn't win.

"Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

"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.

"And he lied again today by justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist."

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