• Football:

Pepe: FIFA favour Messi over Ronaldo

ESPN staff
November 14, 2013
Pepe not taking Sweden lightly

Pepe believes Sepp Blatter's recent comments about Cristiano Ronaldo show a clear bias from FIFA against his Portugal and Real Madrid team-mate.

The comments refer to the video which emerged recently of Blatter impersonating the Portuguese attacker strutting around the pitch and suggesting he spent a lot of money on hair products.

The incident sparked outrage in Marca, who called it a 'world scandal', with many suggesting the incident 'proved' FIFA's favouritism of Lionel Messi - who has beaten Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or for four straight seasons.

And Pepe believes a bias against Ronaldo is the only logical explanation why he has not been rewarded by FIFA for his incredible record at Madrid since joining the club in 2009.

"We know that with his figures it was not normal that he had only won one Ballon d'Or, after having been to seven or eight galas," Pepe said.

"And that just showed that lots of things happen in football. Now you [journalists] have to show what happens. It is unfair what is going on with Cristiano. I hope he can win the Ballon d'Or. But Blatter has opened up many peoples' eyes."

Pepe was speaking ahead of Portugal's play-off encounter with Sweden on Friday evening, which pits Ronaldo against Sweden's talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But Pepe believes his Ronaldo cannot be compared to Ibrahimovic, and insists his Madrid team-mate is a talent like no other in world football currently.

"They are two great players, but nothing compares to what Cristiano does," he said.

"He has unimaginable statistics and is the best in the world. I repeat, in this moment, there is no comparison."

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