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Blatter apologizes over CR7 comments

FIFA's Sepp Blatter (R) issued an apology to Real's Cristiano Ronaldo (L).
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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has apologized to Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid to end the row between the pair.

The Real Madrid superstar and his club interpreted comments made by Blatter in an address to the Oxford Union last week as a disrespectful slight on the player. Ronaldo felt Blatter was mocking him after being asked to compare the Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said Blatter's behavior showed a "lack of respect" and confirmed that Real had written to FIFA to demand a retraction. Blatter said both players were exceptional but described Messi as a "good boy" before going on to say, in apparent reference to Ronaldo, that "one has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other."

The FIFA president then concluded by saying he preferred Messi of the two players.

In response, Ronaldo posted on his official Twitter page, alongside a video clip of Blatter's comments: "This video shows clearly the respect and consideration that FIFA has for me, for my club and my country. Much is explained now.

"I wish Mr Blatter health and a long life, with the certainty that he will continue to witness, as he deserves, the successes of his favorite teams and players."

Blatter wrote later on his official Twitter account: "Dear @Cristiano. I apologise if you were upset by my light-hearted answer at private event on Friday. I never meant to offend you.

"I am an honorary 'socio' at Real Madrid @Cristiano & explained we've many talented players in world game, including you. Best wishes."

Blatter's original comments came during a question and answer session at Oxford University on Friday where he was asked about Messi and Ronaldo.

Blatter started off by heaping praise on Messi, saying: "They are both exceptional players but they are totally different and football is about the difference of styles, because Lionel Messi is a good boy who every mother and father would like to have at home.

"He's a good man, he's very fast, he's not exuberant, he's playing well, he's dancing, he's a kind man, he's a good boy. And that's what makes him so popular and naturally he will always get a lot of goals because he is this nice man, and he plays well and scores goals."

Then, when appearing to talk about Ronaldo, Blatter said "the other one, this is something else. The other one is like a commander on the field of play," before the FIFA chief stood up from his chair and walked across the podium in comic fashion.

Blatter continued: "But this is the other side of football and that's good to have such commanders on the field also. Because you don't have the same attitude, and that gives life to football and one has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other, but that doesn't matter...

"So I cannot say who is the best. The list (Ballon d'Or) will be published on Tuesday, and then the public will make the choice. I like both of them, but I prefer Messi."

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