Cristiano Ronaldo lashed out at Sepp Blatter on Tuesday after the Fifa president mocked him for having "more expenses for the hairdresser" than Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo reacted angrily to Blatter expressing a preference for Messi over him in a video clip which also shows the Swiss performing an impression of the Real Madrid star. The former Manchester United forward failed to see the funny side of what was Blatter's response to a question posed during his visit to the Oxford Union on Friday.
After watching footage posted online in which Blatter is asked which of Messi and Ronaldo he prefers, the latter wrote on his Facebook page: "The video shows the respect and consideration that Fifa has for me, my club and my country. Much is explained now. I wish Mr Blatter health and a long life, with the certainty that he'll continue to witness the successes of his favourite teams and players."
Blatter had actually been extremely complimentary about Ronaldo, with his impression intended to demonstrate how much of a leader the 28-year-old is. But he also said that Messi was a "good boy", adding that one of the differences between the pair was that "one has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other".
Ronaldo's outburst came after Real president Florentino Perez wrote to Blatter to express his "disgust", -calling for a retraction and claiming that the latter's comments could influence the voting for the Ballon D'or, the shortlist for which was announced yesterday.
Blatter wrote back, saying there was no link between what he said and the World Player of the Year prize, insisting -Ronaldo and Messi were "at the same level" and apologising for any offence he may have caused. Ronaldo was backed by his manager at Real, Carlo Ancelotti, who revealed yesterday morning that Perez had written to Blatter.
"I'm aware our president has sent a letter to Fifa asking to retract what I consider to be a lack of respect to a very serious, very professional player," Ancelotti said. Blatter also apologised to the Portuguese Football Federation, whose president Fernando Gomes wrote him another letter of complaint.
He said in a statement: "I think the comments... show a clear lack of respect both towards Ronaldo and Portugal." Blatter's comments at the Oxford Union were: "They are both exceptional players, but they are totally different. They are totally different stars.
Lionel Messi is a good boy that every father and every mother would like to take home. He's a good man, he's very fast, and he's not exuberant, he's playing well, he's dancing. He's a kind man, a good boy. I can't say who is the best - there will be a contest again this year at the Ballon d'Or. I like both of them, but I prefer Messi."