BARCELONA, Spain -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter may have thought joking about Cristiano Ronaldo was all in good fun, but the Portugal forward and Real Madrid have certainly taken offence. http://www.hockeyavalancheshop.com/Burgundy-Red-Ryan-OReilly-Jersey/ . Madrid asked Blatter on Tuesday to apologize for having mocked Ronaldo while praising Barcelona rival Lionel Messi at a recent event in England. Blatter had told an audience at Oxford University that Ronaldo "is like a commander on the field of play" before strutting around the stage to the laughs of the students in attendance. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said that club president Florentino Perez had sent a letter to Blatter asking him to "rectify what I consider a lack of respect for a serious and professional player." Blatter later responded by saying Ronaldo was an "exceptional" player. In a statement provided to the AP, FIFA said that Blatter had "confirmed in letters sent to Real Madrid CF as well as the Portuguese Football Association that Cristiano Ronaldo is an exceptional player - as he had already mentioned at the Oxford University event last Friday, and on many other occasions." While slighting Ronaldo during the public event, Blatter said he preferred Messi, the Argentina forward who has won FIFAs world player of the year award for the past four years. Ronaldo won the award in 2008, finishing second in voting behind Messi in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Ronaldo took Blatters stinging words, and mimicry, to heart, and apparently wasnt convinced by Blatters attempt at making amends. "This video shows clearly the respect and consideration that FIFA has for me, for my club and my country," Ronaldo wrote on his Facebook page late Tuesday. "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 favourite teams and players." Earlier on Tuesday, FIFA included Ronaldo and Messi on its list of 23 finalists for this years world player of the year award. The list will be pared down to three players in early December. "Messi is a good boy, that every father and every mother would like to have at home," Blatter told the Oxford crowd. "Hes a kind man, a good boy. Thats what makes him so popular, and naturally hell always get a lot of votes because he plays well and scores goals." Then, while comparing Messi and Ronaldo, Blatter made a joke about Ronaldos hair. "They dont have the same attitude and that gives life to football. One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other but that doesnt matter," Blatter said. Ancelotti defended Ronaldos character. "I completely agree with the president (Perez)," Ancelotti said. "I havent spoken to Ronaldo about this. I think he shows every day and in every match that he is a serious and professional player that respects everyone." Ronaldo also received support in Portugal. Portuguese football federation president Fernando Gomes said Ronaldo is "often misunderstood because hes forthright and honest," and that his frankness sometimes "gives rise to a negative image which isnt him." The spat is bound to strengthen the belief among some Madrid fans and sections of the Madrid-based sports media that FIFA has a bias for Barcelona and Messi. Former Madrid coach Jose Mourinho snubbed FIFAs awards gala for the past two years while he was at the Spanish club, as did Ronaldo in 2012. Mourinho accused Barcelona of receiving help from FIFA referees in ousting Madrid from the 2011 Champions League semifinals. http://www.hockeyavalancheshop.com/Burgundy-Red-Gabriel-Landeskog-Jersey/ . -- With three of his career-high six 3-pointers coming in the first quarter against the Trail Blazers, Devin Harris knew it was going to be a good night for the Jazz. http://www.hockeyavalancheshop.com/Burgundy-Red-Nathan-MacKinnon-Jersey/ . Manager John Gibbons wasnt taking the bait on Friday afternoon following his clubs 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox. "When we put the team together, well announce it at the end," said Gibbons. "Nice try, though." Pressed further, Gibbons was only slightly more willing to share what everyone believes hes thinking about his 23-year-old right-hander. LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jim Furyk was 10 shots worse and right where he wanted to be Saturday in the BMW Championship. One day after Furyk had a 12-under 59 to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot golfs magic number, he did enough right on the back nine at Conway Farms for a 69 and a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker. Furyk wasnt expecting another low round -- no one ever shot better than 68 on the PGA Tour following a 59. And while the three-putt bogey on his last hole was a setback, it didnt keep him from the only place he wanted to be. "The goal was to go out and shoot a good number today, get myself in position to win this golf tournament," Furyk said. "It could have been better out there. ... Obviously, I dropped that shot at 18, which Im disappointed. It was probably one of the easier holes of the day. But Ive got myself in good position, so rather than harp on the last hole, Id probably tend to want to think about tomorrow and what I have to do to try to win a golf tournament." It doesnt figure to be easy. For starters, Furyk has failed to convert at least a share of the 54-hole lead into a victory in his last four attempts, two of them at major championships. And there were plenty of stars lined up behind, including Tiger Woods. Stricker holed out from the 15th fairway for eagle on his way to a 64, putting him in the final group as he tries to win for the first time this year. Brandt Snedeker salvaged a sloppy day with a birdie on his last hole for a 71 and was two shots behind. Zach Johnson had a 69 and was another shot back. Woods was still fuming after being handed a two-shot penalty Friday when his ball appeared to shift as he was removing a twig near it before a shot from the woods. But he ran off six birdies in seven holes in the middle of his round to get within two shots. His momentum was slowed when he missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th hole, and then pulled his 3-wood into the water on the 15th and did well to make bogey. He had a 66. "I had a nice little run to at least get myself in there where I have a chance tomorrow," Woods said. Furyk was at 13-under 200. He cleared one mental battle by trying to put that 59 behind him and return his focus to the tournament. Now comes another mental battle that figures to be even tougher. Furyk has gone three years since he last won a tournament, and it hasnt been from a lack of opportunity. A playoff loss in Tampa Bay last year. The tee shot he hooked on the 16th hole at Olympic Club that ended his shot at the U.S. Open. A double bogey on the 18th hole at Firestone that cost him a wire-to-wire win. A share of the lead with Davis Love III aat Sea Island last fall. http://www.hockeyavalancheshop.com/Burgundy-Red-Semyon-Varlamov-Jersey/. Just last month, he had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the PGA Championship and was outplayed by Jason Dufner. "Its been three years. No one has to remind me of the Tour Championship in 10, and as Ive had some of the close calls last year, I definitely put some more pressure on myself," he said. "That will be part of the mental game and the mental aspect of it tomorrow, to go out there and stay in the moment and just play golf and not really worry about it. Ill play my best if Im focused on the task at hand, not on the results." There were low scores available Saturday, as Matt Kuchar showed with a 61 that he finished before the leaders even arrived at the course. And there was plenty of excitement. Hunter Mahan had a hole-in-one on the 17th to win a BMW i3 electric car. There were some bizarre moments, too, such as when Justin Rose was penalized by taking a practice swing behind his ball, only for a divot to hit the golf ball and move it. There also was a fan in the bleachers behind the 18th who was betting on players and being vocal about it, leading to an exchange with Johnson and Watney. Sergio Garcia played with Woods and didnt endure very much at all. It was their first time playing together since Garcia and Woods had a verbal spat at The Players Championship, which ended badly when Garcia jokingly said he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and serve him fried chicken. In the suburbs north of Chicago, there was hardly any heckling beyond what is heard at a normal golf tournament in America. Furyk didnt make his first birdie until the seventh hole, but he made two more to get back into a rhythm and build a cushion. Why couldnt he produce another low round? "I think theres probably a mental battle to it," he said. "But youre not going to have many days like I played yesterday." David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., shot 71 and sits at 2 under in a tie for 26th, while Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., shot 72 and is 2 over in a tie for 41st. Of the five previous 59s on the PGA Tour, only two failed to win the tournament -- Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational and Paul Goydos at the 2010 John Deere Classic. Beck had his 13-under 59 in the third round of a 90-hole tournament and tied for third. Goydos had his 12-under 59 in the opening round and was runner-up. Al Geiberger shot 13-under 59 in the second round of the 1977 Memphis Classic and went on to win. David Duval (13-under 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Classic) and Stuart Appleby (11-under 59 at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic) shot their rounds on Sunday to win. ' ' '