Cristiano Ronaldo secured the Ballon d’Or trophy on Thursday after being revealed as the winner, in very extravagant fashion, atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
He’s now drawn level with Lionel Messi with five golden balls as a decade of Messi-Ronaldo dominance over the biggest individual prize in football draws to a close.
During the award ceremony, the Portuguese superstar thanked his family and spoke of how he dreamed of having “seven gold balls and seven kids”. It seems slowing down isn’t something Ronaldo is familiar with.
He also said: “I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues.
“Things happen for a reason.
Winning seven ‘gold balls’ would see him surpass the Barcelona star and stand alone as the most successful footballer in Ballon d’Or history, but perhaps it isn’t Messi he ought to be worrying about.
Ronaldo’s next threat will be coming from a little closer to home, at least according to his son Cristiano Jr.
Moments after he claimed his prize, the seven-year-old apparently informed his dad of his intentions to outdo him.
“He told me he will be better than me,” said the 32-year-old.
“He tells me that he will win a Ballon d’Or and that he will win five.
“I see a bit of myself in Cristiano Jr, and not just because he is my son.”
In terms of ambition you can’t really fault either of them that’s for certain.
Despite Ronaldo keeping much of his family life private, he’s more than happy to expose Cristiano Jr to the limelight, with the youngster joining his dad on stage at previous award ceremonies and even posing with for a topless photo-shoot.
The seven-year-old’s ambitions as a professional player might not be too farfetched, not least because he has a father and mentor whose thirst for success seems unquenchable, but because he looks a decent footballer, especially in videos Ronaldo has posted on his Instagram account of his son scoring free-kicks and dribbling around cones.
The Real Madrid superstar has worked his entire career to get to the top of the sport, and in his eyes at least, he now sits at the very top. If he’s ever to be knocked off his perch, you can be sure that he’d be much happier if it’s his own flesh and blood doing so.
And with Messi’s eldest son Thiago apparently showing some early signs of inheriting his father’s genius, perhaps this Messi-Ronaldo rivalry has a few more decades to run yet.