Cristiano Ronaldo has bluntly addressed the assertions made by former Sporting Lisbon academy prospect Fabio Paim.
Once considered one of Portugal’s brightest talents in the 2000s, Paim failed to fulfill his potential, never making a senior appearance for Sporting and undergoing six loan spells, including an uneventful stint at Chelsea.
During a podcast hosted by PT Clipes, Paim claimed he deserved one of Ronaldo’s five Ballon d’Or trophies, asserting that he could have been on par with Ronaldo and Messi “if he had half of Cristiano’s brain.”
Ronaldo, in response, expressed bewilderment on Instagram, stating, ‘Wtf??? Who is this guy.’
This reaction is noteworthy, considering past reports suggesting that Ronaldo, upon joining Man United in 2003, remarked, ‘If you think I’m good, wait until you see Fabio Paim.’
Paim argued on the podcast, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo should offer me one of his Ballon d’Ors. I went to Sporting when I was seven years old, I grew up there.
They were years of glory in which I won everything I could. I didn’t reach where I could have reached, but I marked a generation. If people don’t forget it’s because I marked them.
‘I said when I was happy that I thought Cristiano Ronaldo could offer me a Ballon d’Or. But it was with humility. If I had half of Cristiano’s head, it wouldn’t be him and Messi.
It would be me, him and Messi and maybe he wouldn’t have won the Ballon d’Or that he has. Maybe one of them was mine.’
Post his departure from Sporting in 2010, Paim embarked on a global football journey, playing in countries like Angola, Qatar, Malta, Lithuania, and Luxembourg.
He represented Portugal at the youth level, retiring from football in 2018 at the age of 35.
Paim, claiming a past friendship with Ronaldo, reminisced about trips to McDonald’s, a stark contrast to Ronaldo’s renowned disciplined diet that has contributed to his enduring career, still playing for Portugal at the age of 38.