• Spain's news in English

VIDEO: Fifa boss mocks 'haircut king' Ronaldo

Alex Dunham/The Local/AFP · 29 Oct 2013, 16:18

Published: 29 Oct 2013 16:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 77-year-old described the Portuguese as being "like a commander on the pitch" and joked he spent more money on his hairstyle than Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in an audience with Oxford University students last week.

“Football is about the difference between stars,” Blatter said.

“Lionel Messi is a good boy that every father, every mother would like to have at home.

“He is very quick, he is not exuberant, he plays well, he is a good boy. That is what makes him so popular, because he is this nice man and that is why he gets votes.

“The other one [Ronaldo], he is something else, he is like a commander on the field of play. This is the other side of football and it is good to have such commanders on the field also. That gives life to football.

“One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other, but that doesn’t matter.”

Blatter’s comments have been met with fury in Madrid as Ronaldo aims to topple Messi to win the Ballon d'Or for the first time in five years after both men were nominated in the 23-man shortlist for the award.

"It seems to me like a lack of respect,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said in a press conference on Tuesday.

"I haven't spoken with Cristiano about it. He is serious, professional and respects everyone.

"I know that our president has sent a letter to Fifa."

But it was the Fifa president’s concluding comments that have led some critics to comment on the neutrality of the upcoming Ballon d’Or Awards.

“I cannot say who is the best,” Blatter began by saying.

“I like both of them, but I prefer Messi.”

Although Blatter’s words may have convinced some Real Madrid fans Fifa as a whole is biased towards Barça, Spanish football expert Sid Lowe sent out the following tweet:

"Lots of people saying Blatter anti-RMadrid for comments on Messi/Ronaldo. Blatter is an honorary member of RM and self-declared RM fan."

On a slightly more official note, French magazine France Football published on Tuesday the names of 23 footballers who are in the running for the prestigious 2013 Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer in the world.

The list will be whittled down to three names on December 9th with the winner being announced on January 13th in Zurich.

The full list of 23 players is as follows:

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Edinson Cavani (Paris-SG)

Radamel Falcao (Monaco)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris-SG)

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)

Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)

Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Neymar (Barcelona)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Mesut Özil (Arsenal)

Story continues below…

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus Turin)

Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Thiago Silva (Paris-SG)

Yaya Touré (Manchester City)

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

Xavi (Barcelona)

Alex Dunham/The Local/AFP (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available