"This? Oh, it's just a gesture we use on Earth to express mutual appreciation"
Never one to shy from the maniacal overstatement, Jose Mourinho has surpassed himself, claiming that Cristiano Ronaldo is in fact the son of giant Kryptonian lizard scientist from Mars or some such David Icke-ish nonsense.
The decision isn't due to be made until January, but when asked who should win this year's Ballon d'Or (Ronaldo last won it in 2008, Messi every tyear since), Mourinho responded that it would be a 'crime' if Lionel Messi took the gong again, and bit back at comments made in passing by Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova last week that 'Messi is the best player in the world by a long way' by telling Portuguese paper A Bola:
"When someone with the same responsibility as me comes out and says: 'Mine is the best on the planet' then I have to say: 'Mine was not born in Madeira, he was born on Mars; he is not from planet Earth, he is the best in the universe'.
"If you are going to give out the Ballon d'Or because a player is the best, give it to Cristiano or Messi. But I ask: if the two are on the same level, is it normal that one wins four and the other one? It is not.
"How can you win the Ballon d'Or without collecting titles, without winning anything important? Don't come to me telling me about the Intercontinental Cup or the Super Cup, this is small stuff. Tell me about fat titles.
"It is harder to be Cristiano than Messi. [Messi] plays as a No.9 and roams around in those 50 square metres where the distance to goal is smaller and defence less intense. [Ronaldo] plays as a winger.
"How does a winger score as many goals as a No9? Besides, Ronaldo is a player who is not protected by anyone.
"If Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe."
Boom! Message received. Only 'fat' titles count.
Apparently the story goes that Mourinho, a simple farmer, found Ronaldo as a baby in a smouldering crater in Kansas, raised him as his own and then sent his gawky, straw-haired boy out into the world (or, more accurately, to Sporting Lisbon) alone to hone his skills, safe in the knowledge that one day he'd find his way back to Papa.
That's what we heard anyway.