Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the best footballer in the world for the third time on Monday (Jan 12) but he's revealed that his four-year-old son, Cristiano Jr, worships the man who finished second – his arch-rival Lionel Messi.
The revelation was made in a video taken backstage at the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich where Ronaldo introduced Cristiano Jr to his hero.
In the footage, which has been viewed more than 1.3 million times, Messi happily greets Cristiano Jr, saying: "How you doing? All good?
Ronaldo to Messi: "My son watched videos of you on the internet and always talks about you."
Ronaldo to his son: "Don't be shy now!"
Messi: "I hope it helped you."
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On the face of it, it's a heartwarming moment between two arch-enemies who have agreed to bury their rivalry for the sake of a little boy's joy.
But it must have REALLY rankled with the Real Madrid and former Manchester United striker.
Over the years, Ronaldo has made no secret of his rivalry with the diminutive genius Messi and has made it his life's mission to be a better footballer than him.
And although he's edging closer to the Argentine striker's legendary status – Messi has won the Ballon d'Or four times to Ronaldo's three – there is one competition the 29-year-old will never win: the love of the public.
Despite being a genius who has scored an incredible 56 goals in 51 appearances, Portugal forward Ronaldo is also regarded as a bit of a self-preening pr**** who spends far too much time looking in the mirror, posing in his pants, playing with his diamond ear-rings and teasing his hair.
It doesn't matter that he's clearly a great dad, often photographed out and about with his young son, who was born to an unnamed surrogate.
It doesn't matter that he also does amazing things for charity, most famously for shelling out £50,000 of his own money for a sick boy's operation.
No, as far as the footballing public is concerned, Ronaldo may be the world's greatest footballer, but he's also a show pony, prone to diving, whipping off his shirt and flexing his six-pack and – infamously – winking at the camera (when he got Wayne Rooney sent off in the World Cup finals).
Little Lionel, on the other hand, looks like he has little regard for a comb, no eye for fashion and seems to play football with a boyish love for the game, not for the obscene rewards of wealth and fame it brings.
Still, hats off to CR7 (for that is how Ronaldo brands himself): it takes a big man to introduce his son to his nemesis. If only he'd show the same kind of humility on the football field.