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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Why did Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi give away their golden Ballon d'Or trophies?

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi have very few commonalities, giving away their trophies is one

By Web Desk
February 24, 2024
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo spotted together at a game. — AFP/File
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo spotted together at a game. — AFP/File

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have a lot in common despite having separate legendary careers that included several Ballon d'Or victories.

Though for different reasons, the two similarly have a habit of giving away all of their golden balls. After winning the World Cup, contributing to Paris Saint-Germain's victory, and having a significant impact on Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, Messi set a milestone by collecting a record-breaking eighth Ballon d'Or last year, according to The Mirror.

Like Messi, Ronaldo did not keep any of his five Ballons d'Or in his own trophy case. He earned his final one in 2017. Rather, all 13 Ballon d'Ors that the former Barcelona and Real Madrid stars have together won have been donated.

Messi has all eight of them at Barcelona's museum at Camp Nou, including the final one he won back from the team as a token of gratitude for their part in his career. On the Portuguese island of Madeira, Ronaldo has a private museum where he has kept four of his five Ballon d'Or awards.

Ronaldo's trophies have been donated to celebrate his accomplishments on the island where he was born and raised, rather than honouring the legacy of a club. Nevertheless, he decided to give the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to kids facing terminal or life-limiting illnesses, his 2013 trophy.

In addition, Atletico Madrid co-owner and richest man in Israel, Idan Ofer, paid £513,000 for a piece of football history when the award, which was Ronaldo's second, went up for auction in London in 2017.

Ronaldo defeated Messi and Franck Ribert to win the prize, garnering a 28% vote share, despite Real Madrid's failure to win either La Liga or the Champions League that season. 

At the height of his abilities, the Portuguese player (who currently plays in the Saudi Pro League for Al-Nassr) scored 55 goals in 55 games across all competitions during the 2012–13 season.