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Ronaldo’s votes for Kopa Trophy award show where Man Utd loyalties lie

Barcelona’s Pedri scooped the Trophee Kopa this week but Cristiano Ronaldo’s votes highlight his loyalty to Man Utd as he picked Mason Greenwood as the best U21 on the planet

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Cristiano Ronaldo highlighted his Manchester United allegiance as he voted for Mason Greenwood as his No.1 pick for the recent Trophee Kopa award.

The individual accolade recognises the world’s best player under the age of 21.

It is handed out by France Football, the same publication who award the Ballon d’Or, but was only introduced three years ago.

Therefore its roll of honour is relatively short with Kylian Mbappe and Matthijs de Ligt the only previous winners.

Greenwood, who burst onto the scene two years ago at United, was among the nominees this year.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham were among the other names in contention for the award, but Ronaldo’s loyalties were clear.

Have Your Say! Was Pedri a worthy win of the Trophee Kopa? Tell us in the comments section

Mason Greenwood was Cristiano Ronaldo’s pick for the Trophee Kopa

He’s had the chance to see Greenwood up close and ranked him as the world’s best youngster over the past 12 months.

The 20-year-old scored 12 times last term and notched in the opening three league games this season.

His compatriot Nuno Mendes, now at PSG, and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna were his other two picks.

Barcelona’s Pedri went on to pick up the gong, which was handed out earlier this week, following a sensational and hectic year with both club and country.

The 19-year-old, one of the latest products of La Masia, has become a regular for Barcelona and Spain.

He ran away with the Trophee Kopa, bagging 89 points with his closest competitor, Jude Bellingham, picking up 39.

Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, once of Chelsea’s academy, finished in third. Greenwood came home in fifth ahead of Saka.

Pedri, who signed a new five-year deal recently, celebrated with a meal out alongside Barcelona teammates and ended up paying the bill this week.

Ronaldo meanwhile clashed with France Football editor Pascal Ferré in the lead up to the award after he claimed the Portuguese star’s “only ambition” was to retire with more Ballon d’Ors than Lionel Messi.

The Argentine would go on to scoop a seventh Golden Ball – taking him two clear of Ronaldo’s total.

Pedri scooped the award with a huge number of votes
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Image:

REUTERS)

United’s No.7, who missed the award ceremony, responded by saying: “Pascal Ferré lied and used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication that he works for.

“It’s unacceptable for the person responsible for handing out such a prestigious award to lie in this way and to show disrespect to someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.

“He lied again today to justify my absence from the ceremony due to an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.

“I always congratulate whoever wins, in tandem with the sportsmanship and fair play that have underpinned my career since the start and I do that because I’m never against anyone.”

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