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Jan 13, 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo, Sepp Blatter OK now

Cristiano Ronaldo says playing in an era with players like Messi and Ribery pushes him to improve everyday.

ZURICH -- Cristiano Ronaldo's rift with FIFA president Sepp Blatter was settled in a telephone call.

"This is no longer an issue, neither for us nor for football,'' the Ballon d'Or favourite from Portugal said ahead of Monday's award ceremony.

Last October, Blatter was filmed telling a student audience in England he preferred four-time defending Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and his more modest personality.

The FIFA president suggested Ronaldo was too concerned about his hairstyle and mimicked his stature as a "commander'' on the field.

Ronaldo replied in an apparently sarcastic message on his social media accounts that the video "shows clearly the respect and consideration that Fifa has for me.''

A message posted on the Real Madrid forward's Twitter account read: "I wish Mr. Blatter health and a long life, with the certainty that he'll continue to witness the successes of his favourite teams and players.''

The dispute led to speculation that Ronaldo would snub the FIFA ceremony, and he celebrated his next goal for Madrid with a mock military salute.

On Monday, Ronaldo sat next to Messi on stage when he played down the issue with Blatter.

"We talked over the telephone and everything was cleared,'' said Ronaldo, who first won the FIFA world player award in 2008.

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