Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho claimed last week that he would vote for Cristiano Ronaldo in this year's Ballon d'Or, rather than compatriot Franck Ribery. Sakho's honesty, however, has not gone down particularly well with the Bayern Munich winger.
Ronaldo is the clear favourite to claim the gong following four years of dominance by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, while Ribery is expected to be among the three leading candidates when the shortlist is revealed.
The Real Madrid forward has been in irresistible form for his club and scored the goals that ensured Portugal a place in next summer's World Cup, as Sakho was able to do for France last month.
Ribery, perhaps fairly, would surely have assumed he could count on all of his international colleagues to back him to claim Europe's top individual prize, but Sakho says there is simply no way he can look beyond Ronaldo.
"I would vote for Cristiano Ronaldo," the Anfield star said. "He is a high-level player and athlete and the statistics of the Portuguese are really impressive.
"It is obvious my heart would vote for Ribery - but the numbers don't lie."
Ribery has since got wind of these remarks, and has admitted he was surprised that the Liverpool centre-back was willing to forgo his international allegiance and opt for Ronaldo.
"Sakho disappointed me," Ribery told L'Equipe.
"He disappointed me about what he said recently. Anyway, that's how it is in football. He gave his opinion. This is life. It's not a serious issue."
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