Cristiano Ronaldo responded sharply to a statement made by former Sporting Academy talent Fabio Paim.


Former Sporting CP academy graduate Paim recently claimed on a PT Clipes podcast, suggesting he merits at least one of Ronaldo's five Ballon d'Or awards. He further asserted that if he possessed even a fraction of the Portuguese superstar's intellect, his career achievements would rival those of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The 38-year-old Al-Nassr player didn't take kindly to Paim's remarks, offering a pointed comment on the PT Clips Instagram post featuring the podcast clip.


During the podcast, Paim remarked, "Cristiano Ronaldo should give me one of his Ballon d’Or. I joined Sporting at seven and grew up there. Those were the glory years when I achieved everything possible. I didn't reach my full potential, but I made an impact on a generation. If people remember, it's because I left a mark."

"I humbly said that I believed Cristiano Ronaldo could give me a Ballon d'Or. But it was said humbly. If I had even half of Cristiano's mindset, it wouldn't just be him and Messi. It would be the three of us, and maybe he wouldn't have won the Ballon d'Or he holds. Perhaps one of those awards was meant for me."

Paim, a winger, navigated various clubs across continents throughout his career. Notably, he had a notable loan spell at Chelsea under Luiz Felipe Scolari, but he didn't feature for the senior team and only made appearances for their reserves.

The 35-year-old also represented Portugal at the youth level and retired from professional football in 2018.